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I. J 

Original Narratives of 

Texas History and 






' ', v ■ '' ' 











R012S1 17270 

Copy-Right secured, according to Act of Congress, 1836. 

R01SS1 17270 

Copy-Right secured, according to Act of Congress, 1836. 



Truly the Genius of Texas — the Hero, the Pa- 
triot, the Benefactor, the just man, in each and 
every character above praise — this new work on 
Texas, with equal pride and pleasure, is dedicated. 



Dedication, ..... 

- iii 



Introduction, ..... 



Geography, Face of the Country, Timber, 




Bays, Rivers, &c. - - - - 




Climate, Water, Soil, &c. - 




Trade, Products, .... 




Natural History, .... 




Towns, Villages, &c, 




Inhabitants, Society, and Manners, 




Indians, ..... 




Religion, . . v . . 




Money, Banks, Mail Establishments, - 




Colonization, Empresarios, Titles, Proportion 

of land taken, ..... 196 


Government and Laws, .... 233 

Gen. Austin's Address, .... 253 


History of Gen. Austin and his Colony, - 281 


History, 301 


Constitution of Mexico, - - - - 365 

Constitution of Texas, - - - 393 


It is not without much diffidence, that the fol- 
lowing work on Texas is offered to the public. Far 
from being perfect, it pretends but to be the best 
the circumstances permit. 

To embody passing history is at all times a diffi- 
cult task. The rapidity with which the Texan re- 
public—Minerva-like — has come forth to challenge 
the admiration of the world, renders such a task hi 
her case impossible. As well might one attempt 
to portray a flitting shadow, or trace the ever 
varying, and always beautiful visions of the Dissol- 
vent Scenes. Not only are events of stirring inter- 
est "treading on each others heels" with the swift- 
ness of the phantasmagoria, displaying characters 
of no ordinary proportions, but new local advan- 
tages, new facilities for the manifold operations of 
society, and new natural beauties, are constantly 
developing themselves to excite our wonder and 

Before this sketch is completed, the besom of 
destruction may have passed like a whirlwind over 
this beautiful, and once thriving and happy land, 
and the blood -hounds of Mexico have torn up ev- 
ery vestage of civilization. We hope, however, for 
better things. Though the flowers of May on those 
magnificent prairies have withered, and though 
the delicate mimosa which forms their carpet has 


shrunk from the unhallowed tread of an arm y, 
warring against Liberty, yet, sprinkled with the 
life-blood of freemen, and consecrated by deeds of 
unparalleled heroism, will they not spring again 
with renewed sensibility, and bloom on in redoubled 
lustre and perennial beauty? Texas has had her 
Leonidas, and many a Curtius; every man will 
become a Cincinnatus. 

The success of the Letters on Texas, imperfect 
as that work was; the demand for a second edition; 
the great interest every where manifested in what- 
ever related to the country, together with its 
growing importance, led to a careful study of its 
affairs, and a second visit of inquiry. Events 
rolled on; materials swelled and assumed new at- 
titudes and importance; and much time was lost 
in waiting for a suitable monent and convenience to 
give them shape and publicity. An attempt at a 
more systematic work was the result. With what 
success, the public must decide; ever bearing in 
mind, however, that far from bidding defiance to 
criticism, it desires but to serve them, the cause of 
Texas, and of Truth. 

To the emigrant, rather than the general reader, 
by assisting him to locate his ideas as well as his 
land, this volume hopes to be most useful. Poetry, 
with which the other was thought to be surcharg- 
ed by some, incredulous like the King of Siam on 
the subject of ice, has been carefully excluded — 
that is, if truth be never poetry. This is strictly a 


matter of fact volume — rather under than over col- 
ored. Like those who first accused John of glut- 
tony and then of abstemiousness, it may be, some 
may thus find in it new cause for cavil. Whatever 
be its merits or demerits it is henceforth public 
property, and asks not favor — but candor. 

The labors of others, have been used, wherever 
available, on the principle of general utility, and 
on the principle of reciprocity. The Letters on 
Texas, the first work on the subject, has been the 
text book for every other, especially in relation to 
Austin's Colony, of which, being the first and 
much the most important colony, it chiefly treats.* 
Such obligations are with pleasure acknowledged; 
particularly the very great ones to the distinguish- 
ed young gentleman who assisted in the compila- 
tion and arrangement. 

It is to be regretted that the researches of nat- 
uralists in Texas have hitherto been so limited: a 
wide and beautiful field, fresh from Nature's boun- 
tiful hand, is thrown open to them. Two distin- 
guished individuals, pioneers in Texas Botany and 
Mineralogy, died unfortunately, when their labors 
were scarcely begun.j 

♦Vide especially Edwards's late work, and compare it with 
* Letters on Texas. 1 ' 

tMr Thomas Drummond of Glasgow has done more than anj 
other man toward exploring the Botany of Texas. He sent 
home many plants and seeds which have been successfully cul- 
tivated there, and drawings of them have been given in late 
numbers of Curtis's Botanical Magazine. He had made ar- 
rangements to settle his family in Texas, where he could have 
deroted himself with ardor to his favorite science, and when* 


Of promised contributions on Geology, Botany 
and other interesting topics, none have as yet 
been received* 

with his land and his roies, to use his own language, he would 
have been more independent in a few years, than he could ever have 
hoped to be in GreatBritain. Unfortunately for science, as for 
hiraself,Mr Druninaond took the year of flood and chalet a, 1833, 
to make his first, and oidy visit, to his adopted land; and, in 
common with every body else, suffered much inconvenience 
and consequent sickness. Hence his views of the country are 
partial and drawn from present personal experience. He saw 
through juandiced eyes — and not with the eyes of a philosopher. 
Notwithstanding he liked nothing, and nobody, he sent home 
seven hundred new specimens of plants; and a hundred and fifty 
preparations of birds, obtained in a very few excursions; and 
resolved there to live and die; no poor compliment, surely, to 
any place, however we may, for the time being, abuse it. 

Having survived cholera, flood and famine, and all the evils 
he complained of in Texas, he died in Cuba, on his way to his 
own country , preparatory to his final removal with his family. 

Br Henry Cooley was a scientific and highly intelligent En- 
glishman, who, like Mr Drummond, commenced his labors in 
Texas during the terrible visitation by cholera, which for a 
time nearly prostrated the energies of the before thriving col- 
onists. He fell a victim to his humanity. He landed at Mat- 
agorda, which place fie had selected lor his future residence, 
in the month of May, 1833. Ha vine; occasion some time after 
to visit Monclova, on his way thither, he slopped at Goliad 
where the cholera raged with frightful fatality, and there was 
no physician in the place- The ferryman who put him across 
the river, hearing him called Doctor by a young gentleman, 
his companion, instantly spread the grateful news that a phy- 
sician was at hand , and he was surrounded by the panic 
struck citizens beseeching; him to save the sick and dying from 
the terrible malady. He could not be deaf to their entreat- 
ies, and remained some days, administering \ety successfully 
to the suffering people. Unhappily there was no good Samari- 
tan — no physician there to perform the s.ime kind charity to 
himself, when after much fatigue and watching he became 
prostrate ; and notwithstanding lie had given directions in hi s 
own case, should it occur, the moment for applying; the reme. 
dy was lost, and the disease with him proved fatal. His ac- 
complished family remained in New York, where they still 
mourn his too early death. 


Texas, until within the last few years, has been, 
literally, a terra incognita. That such a region ex- 
isted, has, indeed, been known; but in respect to 
its geography and natural resources, clouds and 
darkness have rested upon it. This is the more re- 
markable, lying as it does, contiguous to two en- 
lightened nations, the United States, on the one 
side, and Mexico, on the other; being, moreover, 
very easy of access, both by iand and sea. While 
Britons, impelled by a daring spirit of enterprise, 
have penetrated to the ice-bound region of Mel- 
ville's Island, and our own New Englanders have 
encountered all the hardships and hazards of the 
western desert, the Rocky Mountains and hostile 
Indians, to find a home at the mouth of the Colum- 
bia river, this most inviting region, lying just at 
their doors, has been altogether overlooked. Quite 
unexpectedly, as it were, a report has reached the 
public ear, that the country lying west of the Sa- 
bine river, is a tract of surpassing beauty, exceed- 
ing even our best western lands in productiveness, 
with a climate perfectly salubrious, and of a tem- 
perature, at all seasons of the year, most delightful. 
The admirers of this new country, speaking from 
actual knowledge, and a personal inspection, are 


not content, in their descriptions of it, to make 
use of ordinary terms of commendation. They 
hesitate not to call it a splendid country — an en- 
chanting spot. It would seem as if enchantment 
had, indeed, thrown its spell over their minds, for, 
with very few exceptions, all who return from this 
fairy land, are perfect enthusiasts in their admira- 
tion of it. Whatever qualifications to its excel- 
lence, the most cautious of them are disposed to 
make, have reference to those inconveniences, 
which unavoidably pertain to every country in 
the incipient stages of its settlement. 

So apparently extravagant have been the repre- 
sentations of the natural beauty and resources of 
this country, that many persons are incredulous, 
and attribute them to the schemes of interested 
contractors, eager to allure the unwary emigrant, 
by deceptive statements. Such a motive, if it 
really actuates the conduct of any one, cannot be, 
too severely condemned. A design more criminal 
and disgraceful cannot be, easily, conceived of, 
and ought not to be lightly insinuated against res- 
pectable men. What design more cruel, than that 
of deliberately seducing, not the confiding emi- 
grant alone, but, with him, his wife and children, 
to become the certain victims of privation, disap- 
pointment and ultimate ruin, in the wilderness. 
The character and respectability of the witnesses 
above referred to, at once, repel an insinuation so 

While listening, for the first time, to the favour- 


able reports of Texas, it must be confessed, a sus- 
picion is very apt to arise in the mind, that so 
much imputed excellence if it really existed, could 
not have been so long concealed from the view of 
the world; and we are prone to ask, how has it 
happened, that a territory, possessing such uncom- 
mon advantage of climate and soil, has not been 
explored and appropriated before. To this very 
natural enquiry, a satisfactory answer is at hand* 
Two causes seemed to have operated to prevent 
the earlier settlement of the province of Texas, 
and to retard the developement of its resources. 
In the first place, the jealous policy of the old 
Spanish government, uniformly discouraged all at- 
tempts to penetrate into the country. It was the 
policy of the government, that completely locked 
up Texas, and all the Spanish American possessions 
and excluded even visiters and travellers. It was 
a favorite saying cf the Spanish Captain General 
of the internal provinces, Don Nemisio Salcedo, 
that he would stop the birds from flying over th6 
boundary line between Texas and the United 
States, if it were in his power. This rigid policy 
prevented any one from attempting to explore the 
country by land, for perpetual imprisonment was 
the inevitable result of detection and capture 

In the second place, the Carancahua Indians, 
who inhabited the coast, were represented to be 
of a character, uncommonly ferocious. They 
were, popularly, believed to be cannibals, and 
many tales of most frightful import, were told of 


them; such as, if true, it must be acknowledged, 
were sufficiently appaling to check the enterprise, 
and damp the ardor of the most eager adventurer. 
These representations of the character of the Ca- 
rancahuas, though, in a measure true, were, great- 
ly, exaggerated; and it is believed by many, that 
they were either fabricated or at least countenanc- 
ed, by the Spanish authorities, to prevent inter- 
course with the Province, which it was not easy to 
guard by a military force. Thus, the whole of this 
country remained for ages unknown to the world, 
and instead of being converted into an abode of 
industrious and happy freemen, as it might have 
been, it was doomed by the selfishness of men, to 
continue a howling wilderness. No maps, charts 
or geographical notices, were ever allowed by the 
Spaniards to be taken of it. The map, compiled 
by Gen. Austin, and published by Tanner, was the 
first geographical information of the country, that 
was published. The persons who were engaged in the 
expeditions under Generals Bernardo, Guitierrez 
and Toledo, in 1012-13, knew nothing of Texas, 
except along and near the road they travelled, for 
they were too much occupied by the war, during 
the short time they had possession, to explore the 
country. It is uncertain how long this extensive 
and valuable country would have remained un- 
known and unsettled, had not the bold enterprise 
and perseverance of the Austins torn away the 
veil that hid it from the view of the world, and re- 
deemed it from the wilderness, by the settlement 


of a flourishing colony of North Americans, on 
the Brazos and Colorado rivers. With the settle- 
ment of this colony, a new era has dawned upon 
Texas. The natural riches of this beautiful Pro- 
vince have begun to be unfolded, and its charms 
displayed, to the eyes of admiring adventurers.— 
A new island, as it were, has been discovered, in 
these latter days, at our very doors, apparently 
fresh from the hands of its Maker, and adapted, 
beyond most lands, both to delight the senses, and 
enrich the pockets, of those who are disposed to 
accept of its bounties. 

Without any assistance from the government, 
or fostering care of any sort, but simply under a 
permission to enter, many thousands of industrious 
farmers and mechanics, with their families, have 
located themselves here. Their numbers are 
rapidly increasing, and there cannot be a doubt, 
that, in a few years, Texas will become one of the 
most thriving, if not the most populous, of the Mex- 
ican States. 

Of the numerous contracts for purposes of col- 
onization, made by the Mexican Government with 
individuals and companies, few of those of early 
date, for causes, which it is not necessary now to 
mention, have proved successful, while that of 
Gen. Austin, has been eminently so. The author 
of this volume made a visit of observation to 
this colony, in the autumn of 1831, with a view to 

the ultimate settlement of herself and family 

Many of her friends did not hesitate to condemn 


the enterprise as romantic, and too adventurous 
for a female. Allured, however, by the flattering 
representations of the country, made to her, by 
persons in whose judgment she placed implicit con- 
fidence, and tempted by the very liberal terms of 
settlement proposed by the colonization laws; but r 
above all, impelled by a desire, which every wid- 
owed mother will know how to appreciate, of 
making some provision for an only son, a provision, 
which, if not immediately available, cannot fail to 
be ample, at some future day; favoured, also, by a 
previous personal acquaintance with Gen. Austin 
himself, and encouraged by a brother already es- 
tablished in the country, she resolved to go. But 
previous to a final removal from her native land, 
prudence dictated, that she should first cast an eye 
of observation over the ground, the probable scene 
of her future weal or woe. 

The result of her expedition was, a decided pur- 
pose of removal, as soon as domestic arrangements 
would permit. Her most sanguine impressions of 
the natural advantages of the country, both with 
regard to the salubrity of the climate, the fertility 
of the soil, and the facility with which the lands 
can be brought under cultivation, were confirmed, 
and, without further hesitation, she determined to 
choose this spot for her home. 

To the enterprising public, especially to emi- 
grants, the following remarks, originally published 
in the form of letters, in the hope of being useful, 
are respectfully presented. 


The publication of them was suggested, by the 
notice of some queries, by the London Geographi- 
cal Society, regarding the localities, the moral and 
physical capabilities and prospects of Texas, with 
a view to emigration; to which queries a distinct, 
and it is believed, satisfactory reply, will be found 
in the subsequent pages. The commands of nu- 
merous friends, to whom a visit to Texas seemed 
little less marvellous, than the wanderings of .Dante 
on the other side of the Styx, enjoined upon her, 
to observe and tell them all about the country^ and 
to assure them, whether it were, or were not, a 
fabulous land. 

The public mind, seem to require, more just, 
more distinct, and detailed information, than had, 
hitherto, been given: many persons, disposed to 
emigrate to this fair portion of earth, needed assu- 
rance, that the natives do not kill and eat people 
there, nor always insult and rob them. It has been 
thought, that an exact represensation of things, 
just as they are^ in this beautiful and fertile coun- 
try, where the greatest abundance of all valuable 
and substantial possessions, are the easy and cer- 
tain reward of industry and perseverance, would 
be acceptable. 

Emigration is, oiten, undertaken with expecta- 
tions so vague and preposterous, that, disappoint- 
ment, if not ruin, is the inevitable consequence. — 
Not more unreasonable were the emigrants of the 
early history of America, who expected to find 
streets, paved with gold, because that material 


abounds in the mines of Mexico and Peru, than 
are those individuals of the present day, who, es- 
caping from confinement and poverty in the nor- 
thern cities of America, or from the slavery and 
wretchedness of the crowded and oppressed com- 
munities of Europe, complain of their disappoint- 
ments in Texas, because, forsooth, they do not 
find in Brazoria and San Felipe, the Philadelphia 
and New York markets, and streets lighted with 
gas. Such persons would do well to ask them- 
selves, in what part of the world they can get land 
for nothing; — where obtain so many enjoyments, 
with so little labour? What region combines every 
good ? 

The idle and the vicious, as it happens every 
where, will be sure to be disappointed in Texas* 
Like the hero of Milton, such characters carry 
their discontent with him. 

A soil, that yields the fruit of nearly every lati- 
tude, almost spontaneously, with a climate of per- 
petual summer, must, like that of other countries, 
have a seed-time and a harvest. Though the land 
be, literally, flowing with milk and honey, yet, the 
cows must be milked, and the honey must be gath- 
ered. Houses must be built and enclosures made. 
The deer must be hunted, and the fish must be 
caught. From the primeval curse, that, in the 
sweat of his brow, man shall eat bread, though its 
seventy be mollified, there is no exemption, even 
here. The emigrant should bear in mind, that in 
a new community, labour is to be performed; that 


if he cannot work himself, he must take with him 
those who can. He sees about him, all the means 
for supplying, not only the necessaries, but also, 
the comforts and luxuries of life. It is his part, to 
apply them to his use. He is, abundantly, furnish- 
ed, with the raw materials; but his hands must 
mould them into the forms of art. 

Much incident, calculated to interest the general 
reader, is not to be expected in this volume. But 
the author having ample means of information 
may, without vanity, indulge one hope, as she pro- 
fesses but one aim — utility. 



Geography — Face of the country— Timber, Sec. 

Under the general title of Texas, geographers 
have, hitherto, been accustomed to include the 
whole of that vast region of country, extending 
from the Sabine river, on the East, to the Rio 
Grande, on the West; and from the Red river on 
the North, to the Gulf of Mexico, on the South; 
embracing, thus, an extent of territory, double, 
at least, to that comprised within the limits of 
Texas Proper. The cause of this geographical 
error is readily found in the universal ignorance 
of the true state of this region, originating in the 
despotic measures of her royal governors, while 
she was a province of Spanish America. All 
foreigners were prohibited, under the penalty of 
an indefinite imprisonment,, and, if protestants, of 
experiencing the "tender mercies'' of an Inquisi- 
tion, from trespassing on her soil, or visiting her 
confines. Native subjects were not encouraged, 
and even had they been, were not enterprising, 
intelligent, and active enough, to settle in a coun- 

14 TEXAS. 

try which, wilderness as it was, presented to the 
adventurous colonist, so many privations to en- 
dure and obstacles to subvert. Happily, how- 
ever, these barriers to emigration no longer exist. 
No government has ever offered greater facilities 
for colonization than the State of Texas now 
does. And, instead of a wide waste of unexplor- 
ed territory, unlimited and unknown, she is des- 
tined henceforth to occupy a definite and distin- 
guished station on the map of North America. 

Texas, at present, forms a part of the State of 
Coahuila and Texas; being provisionally annexed 
to Coahuila, until its population and resources are 
sufficient to form a separate State, when its con- 
nexions with Coahuila will be dissolved.* It is sit- 
uated between 27° and 33° 30 N. Latitude, and 
93° 30' and 99° 30' W. Longitude. Its bounda- 
ries are, the Red river, separating it from Arkan- 
sas on the North; the Gulf of Mexico, on the 
South; the Sabine river, and Louisiana, on the 
East; and the river Nueces, separating it from 
Tamaulipas and Coahuila on the West. It is about 
450 miles, in length, from North to South; and 400 
from East to West; and comprises nearly 200,000 
square miles of territory. With a coast near 300 
miles in extent, bordering on the great commercial 
Gulf of Mexico, indented with numerous and com- 
modious harbors and bays, and watered by large 
and navigable streams; as a geographical division, 

* That dissolution appeals by recent events in Texas to he 
near at hand. A declaration of independence will probably 
be, in a few weeks, the result of the present struggle against 

TEXAS. 15 

Texas presents the most eligible situation on the 

Surface of the Country. — Texas is divided into 
three districts, tracts, or regions, whose charac- 
teristics are, in many respects, entirely different. 
These are the level, the undulating, and the moun- 
tainous or hilly. 

The level region occupies the entire coast, ex- 
tending from 30 to 80 miles into the interior. The 
undulating succeeds this and embraces the whole 
of the interior and north, and reaches westward to 
the mountainous tract, which is distant 150 to 200 
miles from the boundaries of the level lands. 

The whole coast, from the Sabine river to the 
Nueces, is possessed of a belt of prairie about eight 
or ten miles wide. This prairie is destitute of tim- 
ber, except narrow skirts on the margin of the 
rivers and creeks. Its distinguishing and happy 
peculiarity is, that, although rather low, and so ex- 
tremely level, that the scope of the eye comprises 
a horizon of many miles, it is entirely free from 
marsh; so much so, that, in most places, a loaded 
wagon may be driven to the beach without ob- 

That part of the level region which lies be- 
tween the Sabine and San Jacinto rivers, ex- 
tends back about seventy miles from the coast in 
a north and north-westerly direction. This tract 
is, in general, heavily timbered with pine, oak, ash, 
cedar, cypress, and other forest trees. The Sabine, 
Naches, and Trinity rivers, are all navigable en- 

16 • TEXAS. 

tirely through this section; and the latter, for a 
considerable distance above it. The Naches af- 
fords good navigation to the junction of the An- 
gelina, twenty-five miles south-east of Nacog- 
doches. This tract includes part of the colonies 
of Zavala, Vehlein, and Austin. 

The section of the level region lying between 
?he San Jacinto and Guadalupe rivers, including 
the lower part of the Brazos, San Bernard, Colo- 
rado, and La Baca rivers, extends into the interior 
about eighty miles from the coast, in a northerly 
direction. This beautiful and very valuable por- 
tion of Texas, as far as the La Baca, is embraced 
in Austin's Colony. The land is sufficiently elevat- 
ed to drain easily and rapidly after heavy rains. It 
is entirely clear of all marsh, lakes, and overflow* 
The alluvial bottom lands of the Brazos, San Ber- 
nard, and Colorado, are from three to twenty 
miles in width. They are heavily timbered with 
live oak, with red, black and other species of oak; 
with cedar, pecan, elm, hackberry, mulberry, and 
all the other variety of forest trees and under- 
growth, common in the rich alluvions of the Mis- 
sissippi. The cane-brakes are of immense extent, 
especially on Cane-brake creek. On this creek 
there is an uninterrupted cane-brake, seventy-five 
miles long, and from one to three miles wide. It 
extends on both sides of the creek, from within 
twelve miles of its mouth, into the gulf, to its 
source, a few hundred yards from the Colorado 
river. Scarcely a tree is to be found in this ocean 

TEXAS. 17 

of cane, which has hence received the name of 
the Great Prairie Cane-brake. It is bordered, on 
each side, by the heavy and lofty timber of the 
alluvial soils. 

Cane-brake creek, or Caney, as it is usually call- 
ed, winds its way through this tract, and exhibits 
so many and such unequivocal evidences of its 
having been a branch of the Colorado river, that 
not a reasonable doubt exists that such is the fact. 
Oyster creek, on the east side of the Brazos 
river, affords, also, extensive bodies of prairie cane- 
brake; though by no means so extensive as that 
which has just been mentioned. The cane land on 
Oyster creek extends indeed along its entire 
course, but it is not all prairie cane-brake, in many 
places being interspersed with heavy timber. 

That portion of the level lands situated to the 
west and southwest of the Guadalupe, lying be- 
tween that river and the Nueces, differs, in some 
important respects, from that which stretches to 
the eastward, and which has already been noticed. 
This tract is much narrower than the eastern, and 
not so well clothed with timber. The distance 
from the bay shore to the undulating lands varies 
from twenty-five to thirty miles. The margins of 
the Aransaso and Nueces bays are also much 
higher than the margins of the bays lying farther 
eastward. The whole tract, though level, is more 
elevated than any parts of the level regions before 
noticed. Its pasturage is confessed to be even su- 
perior to that of any other district of the country, 

18 TEXAS. 

consisting of a different species of grass, called 
Musquit grass. This grass bears a strong resem- 
blance to the blue grass of the United States, and 
furnishes the most nutritious pasturage. It con- 
tinues green throughout the winter, and retains its 
nutritious qualities even after it has become dry 
and apparently dead. The Musquit tree also 
abounds here, affording excellent fire-wood and 
valuable materials for fencing; while forests of 
oak, ash, and other suitable timbers for building, 
flourish on the margins of the water courses. This 
section includes McMullen's and McGloin's, and 
Power's grants. 

North and northwest of that section of the level 
region contained between the Sabine and San 
Jacinto rivers, the country is undulating to Red 
river, the northern boundary. There is no por- 
tion of it, however, sufficiently broken to be called 
hilly; for, though more elevated than the level 
district, and presenting a perpetually varying 
surface, it never breaks into ridges or elevations 
higher than those which characterize what is call- 
ed a " rolling" country. The thickly timbered or 
wooded lands extend quite to Red river, and as 
far west as a line drawn, due north, from the 
heads of the Sabine. West of this line there is a 
wide belt of undulating prairie, extending along 
Red river, which is thinly timbered; the timber 
being confined to the margin of the streams. The 
whole of this section is well- watered by numerous 
rivers and their tributaries, which afford many 

TEXAS. 19 

favorable sites for saw-mills and manufactories. 
Besides the rivers above mentioned the Neches, 
Trinity, and their branches, with others of less 
note, take their course through this region. The 
land here is chiefly occupied by the "Galveston 
Bay and Texas Land Company," which includes 
the colonies of Zavala, Vehlin and Burnet; except 
the prairie lands to the North, which remain free, 
uncovered by any grants. 

Above the level region situate on the Brazos, 
Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers, the country be- 
comes gently and beautifully undulating. This 
description of land extends, in a northwestern di- 
rection up those rivers, from one hundred and 
fifty to two hundred miles, as far as the mountain 
range. The surface is beautifully, and often fan- 
cifully diversified with prairie and woodland; pre- 
senting to the enterprising farmer, large and fer- 
tile fields already cleared by the hand of nature, 
and waiting, as it were, to receive the plough. 
The woods which encircle the prairies afford the 
best of oak, cedar, ash, and other timber valuable 
for fencing and building. The whole of this un- 
dulating region is most beautifully watered, and 
abounds in bold rivulets and springs of pure water. 
These rivulets have all more or less of bottom 
land adjacent to them, and are lined with the lofty 
forest trees of the rich alluvions. The undula- 
tions, in many places, rise into eminences of con- 
siderable elevation, but always with a gentle as- 
cent and lengthened intervals. Abrupt elevations 

20 TEXAS. 

or cliffs seldom appear, nor is the surface so uneven 
or broken, as to be justly designated hilly. 

From the summit of these elevations the view 
is extensive and imposing. The landscape is rich 
and splendid, and the eye delights to roam over 
the smooth, verdant, extended slopes. The round 
tops of the eminences are here crowned with tufts 
of cedars, or groves of oaks and pecans; there, 
presenting an unbroken surface of grass. The pale 
green of the prairie, sprinkled with flowers of 
every hue, forms a pleasing contrast with the dark 
foliage of the cedars, and other magnificent forest 
trees; while the rivulets, which wind their serpen- 
tine course at the foot of the undulations, agree- 
ably diversify the scene. All combined under a 
clear blue sky present a picture, not only delight- 
ful to the eye but enchanting to the imagination, 
which, with the pencil of fancy, would fain fill up 
the scene under view with rural cottages^ with the 
flocks of the herdsman, and all the various indica- 
tions of human activity and domestic happiness. 
Austin's and William's, and Beale's grants, are 
included in this region. 

The undulating region succeeds to the level 
tract between the Guadalupeand Nueces, and 
stretching in a north-westerly direction, and 
gradually increasing in elevation, finally ter- 
minates in the mountain range, a distance of 
about two hundred miles. The whole of this 
extensive tract is peculiarly adapted to grazing 
and the raising of stock ; being principally clothed 
with the Musquit grass, before-mentioned, afford- 

TEXAS. 21 

ing the best of pasturage. The Nopal also thrives 
here with great luxuriance, forming, oftentimes, 
impenetrable thickets, and furnishing, with its 
leaves and fruit, a bountiful supply of excellent 
food for cattle and wild horses. Timber and water, 
however, are not so abundant as in the country 
lying farther east. The Musquit tree, the most 
common one found in this section, is a species of 
locust. Its size is that of a peach tree, which, 
when viewed at a distance, it very much resem- 
bles in appearance. The leaves of it are similar 
to those of the honey locust, but much smaller. 
It bears a pod about the size and shape of the com- 
mon snap-bean, quite sweet to the taste, and when 
dry is used by the Indians in times of scarcity 
for food. It is highly valued by the Mexicans 
who maintain, that for the purposes of fattening 
cattle and hogs it is equal to Indian corn. The 
wood of the Musquit is very durable, as much so 
as black locust or cedar, and hence its value as a 
material for fencing. 

Besides the rivers before-mentioned this district 
is watered by the St. Antonio, Aransaso, and other 
smaller and tributary streams. It is principally 
settled by emigrant Irish. 

The mountain range 1 of Tex a3 may very proper- 
ly be called a spur of the Sierra Madre, (Mother 
Ridge) which it leaves near the junction of the 
Rio Puerco with the Rio Bravo and, pursuing a 
north-easterly direction, enters Texas at the 
sources of the Nueces river. Thence, continuing 

22 TEXAS. 

in the same direction to the head waters of the 
San Saba, a branch of the Colorado, it inclines 
to the east down the San Saba, crossing the Col- 
orado some distance below the mouth of that river; 
it is finally lost in the undulating lands of the 
Brazos. This range does not cross the Brazos. 
The country east of this river and upon Trinity 
river is gently undulating, and in some districts 
quite level ; this description of surface extending 
the whole distance to Red river. Spurs of this 
mountain range extend southwardly down the 
rivers Madina and Guadalupe, to the vicinity of 
Bexar. Spurs also extend down the rivers Slanos 
and Pedernales, and the smaller western tributa- 
ries of the Colorado. Similar spurs stretch up to 
the Colorado above San Saba to a considerable 
distance, and round the head waters of the San 
Ardress and Bosque, tributaries of the Brazos. 

The mountains are of third and fourth magni- 
tude in point of elevation. Those of the San Saba 
are much tbe 'highest. \ These are, 'in many places, 
thickly covered with forests of oak, cedar, and 
other trees, interspersed with a great variety of 

This range cf high land on its northwestern fron- 
tier is of vast advantage to the. State of Texas. 
It not only renders the atmosphere more salubrious 
but, abounding in copious fountains of limpid wat- 
er, it gives rise to the numerous rivulets wdiicb, 
having first irrigated their own fruitful vallies, flow 
off with a rapid current, and unite to form the 

TEXAS. 23 

large rivers of the central and western parts of the 
State. These last mentioned rivers are uniformly 
more limpid than the rivers to the east of the Bra- 
zos. Beale's, Austin and William's, and the unoc- 
cupied lands of the northwest are embraced in 
this district. 

North of this mountain range and on the ex- 
treme head waters of the Brazos river, the coun- 
try becomes level again and presents to the view 
interminable prairies. These stretch to the north 
and northwest beyond Red and Arkansas rivers, 
and are finally lost in the vast ocean of prairie 
that terminate at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. 


Bays, Rivers, &c 

No part of the extensive coast of the Gulf of 
Mexico, presents a more numerous assemblage of 
bays and harbors, than that of Texas. Several 
of these, though obstructed at present by bars and 
sand-banks, possess, even now, important advan- 
tages; but when, in the course of time, the ac- 
cumulation of wealth, and the progress of improve- 
ment shall lead to -the removal of these obstacles, 
they will be rendered commodious, secure, and 
sufficient for all the purposes of an extensive com- 
merce. Nor is it alone upon the sea-board, that 
the facilities of trade are abundantly offered. The 
interior, intersected by numerous magnificent and 
navigable streams, in close vicinity to the great 
western tributaries of the Mississippi, and holding 
easy communication with the mighty " Father of 
rivers" himself, furnishes a commercial position 
very desirable and seldom surpassed. The con- 
sideration of the trade of Texas however, is reserv- 
ed for a future chapter, and, at present, we must 
confine ourselves simply to topographical details. 
Beginning at the eastern extremity of the coast, 
the first large body of water is Sabine lake. The 

26 TEXAS. 

inlet into this lake has from four to six feet of water. 
It is, however, "difficult to cross, owing to the mud 
and oyster banks which extend, opposite to this 
inlet, out of sight of land. 

Galveston bay is the next inlet to the westward, 
and the largest on the coast. It is about thirty 
miles in length, and varies from twelve to eighteen 
in width. The island of Galveston or San Luis 
stretches along the coast in front of the bay. It 
is about thirty miles long and from three to five 
broad. A small settlement has recently been 
made on this island, though reserved by govern- 
ment for its own use. The harbor lies between this 
and Pelican island, and has a depth of water vary- 
ing from eighteen to thirty feet, continuing for 
some miles up the bay, until you approach Red 
Fish bar, which bisects the bay in nearly equal 
parts. On this bar there are not more than five or 
six feet of water. The channel is spacious ami 
secure, affording firm, good anchorage. The prin- 
cipal entrance is at the eastern extremity of the 
island, between its coast and an opposite promon- 
tory on the main land, called Point Bolivar. The 
passage is about half a mile in width, and carries 
at all times twelve feet, and at high tides fourteen, 
and sometimes sixteen feet water. Within the 
Bay the tides are so small as to appear entirely 
dependant on the winds; hence, beyond Red Fish 
bar, the waters are often rendered very shallow 
by the north winds, which prevail with great force 

TEXAS, 27 

in the fall and winter* The average depth of 
water in the bay is nine or ten feet. 

A western arm of this bay extends along the 
coast, in a southwest direction, to within two miles 
and a half of the Brazos river, and might be very 
easily connected with that river by a short canal. 
There is also an inlet at the west end of Galveston 
island, which may be advantageously used by small 
vessels, drawing not more .than six or seven feet. 

An eastern arm of Galveston extends along 
the coast, called East bay, from the head of which 
there is a deep tide-water creek, which nearly 
intersects a similar creek from Sabine lake. By 
uniting these two creeks, which might be effected 
with little expense, a canal communication could 
be opened between the bay and the lake. 

In the extreme southwest of Austin's colony is 
situated the spacious and beautiful bay of Mata- 
gorda. Its inlet, Passo Cavallo, has twelve feet 
water over the bar, and a safe anchorage within, 
with four fathoms of water. Like Galveston how- 
ever this bay is shallow. The average depth of 
water through it to the mouth of Colorado river 
is not more than eight feet. Vessels that can cross 
the bay cannot approach nearer than one mile of 
the mouth of the river, and are compelled to un- 
lade their cargoes by means of lighters. The 
same inconvenience exists at the mouth of the La 
Baca, three feet or three and a half being the 
depth of water at the entrance of these rivers, at 
ordinary high tides. 

28 TEXAS. 

Southwest of Matagorda, in the eastern part of 
Povv er's grant, is Aransaso bay, the third in size 
and deeper than either Galveston or Matagorda. 
The entrance to it is easy for vessels not drawing 
more than seven feet. This bay forms a very se- 
cure haven, and is the principal harbor for vessels 
whose cargoes are destined for Goliad or Bexar, 
and for the Irish colonies of the Nueces. 

The entrance into Nueces bay is in every re- 
spect equal to that in Aransaso bay, but it has not 
often been resorted to. Settlements are now be- 
ginning to be formed on its margin, and no situa- 
tion for building can be more beautiful and pic- 
turesque. The margin is bold and elevated, and 
when the wilderness shall have given place to a 
respectable body of Irish emigrants, this spot will 
present one of the most pleasant and desirable resi- 
dences in Texas. 

Rivers. — Red river forms the northern bounda- 
ry of Texas, separating it from Arkansas Territory. 
It takes its rise in about 103° West Longitude, and 
33° North Latitude, and after a course of 1500 
miles through a fertile and romantic region, receiv- 
ing the waters of numerous smaller tributaries, it 
pours the vast " gathering of its waters" into the 
majestic Mississippi in about 91° 30' West Longi- 
tude and 31 Q North Latitude. It is navigable for 
sloops to Alexandria, a distance of one hundred 
and thirty-five miles, and for smaller boats to 
Natchitoches, two hundred and fifteen miles from 
its mouth. Two-thirds of its course is occupied 

TEXAS. 29 

several months in the year by "small craft," en- 
gaged in conducting a considerable branch of the 
Santa Fe Trade. This river takes its name from 
the extraordinary appearance which it frequently 
assumes. In Spring and Autumn especially when 
the waters are swollen and turbid, they are tinged 
with the deepest crimson; which color they also 
communicate to the alluvial deposits on the banks 
of the river, thus fully justifying the appropriate 
title of Red river. 

The Sabine takes its rise in the northern part 
of Texas in about 33° North Latitude, and pur- 
sues a southeast direction for about 150 miles; it 
here receives a small stream called Tancks creek, 
and running from this point in a course generally 
south, forms the boundary between Texas and Lou- 
isiana. It waters a fertile and well timbered coun- 
try, and is navigable for about 70 miles from its 
entrance into Sabine lake. It is probably, taken 
in all its meanderings, 350 miles in length. 

The Nueces, which forms part of the western 
boundary of Texas, takes its source in the moun- 
tain range of Sierra Madre, and runs southeast a 
distance of near 350 miles and discharges into the 
Gulf of Mexico, forming a considerable bay at its 
mouth. The section of country embraced in its 
course and that of its numerous branches is one of 
the healthiest and most valuable in Texas. It 
does not abound in timber, though furnishing suffi- 
cient for fencing and building materials; but affords 
pasturage of the finest kind, abounding in the 

30 TEXAS. 

Nopal and the Musquit grass. Flourishing colo- 
nies of Irish have been settled here upon the 
grants of Powers, and McMullen, and McGloin. 

The Rio Colorado takes its source, in 33 <? North 
Latitude and about 104° West Longitude, among 
the Cordilleras mountains, and pursuing a south- 
east course, enters Texas, forming the boundary 
between Beale's, and Williams' and Austin's grants, 
and disembogues itself into the bay of Matagorda, 
after -a course of near six hundred miles. It is the 
second river in size within the boundaries of 
Texas, and would be navigable almost to the moun- 
tains, were it not obstructed by a raft of drift 
wood ten miles above Matagorda. This raft fills 
the bed so as to cause a dispersion of the stream 
into several channels; it however is not exten- 
sive, and its removal may be easily accomplished. 
The late Col. Milam had undertaken to clear out 
the Colorado, and was to have had the exclusive 
privilege of steam navigation upon the river for a 
term of years. The banks of this river abound in 
the finest timber. Various descriptions of oak, ash, 
cedar, &c. are plentiful, as indeed are found upon 
all the streams in this section. The Brazos river, 
the largest in the province, takes its rise near the 
sources of Red river, and after a meandering 
route of 750 miles, discharges itself into the Gulf 
of Mexico. In its course it receives the waters 
of many tributary streams, and itself irrigates a 
region unsurpassed either for the beauty of its 
scenery, the fertility of its soil, or the salubrity of 

TEXAS. 31 

its climate. The river Nsvasoto, one of its east- 
ern branches, forms the western boundary of Bur- 
net's grant, and is a stream of considerable im- 
portance. The most peculiar feature of the Bra- 
zos is found in its westernmost branch, which takes 
its source in an extensive salt region, a vast plain 
of one or two hundred miles in extent, the land of 
which is charged with mineral salt, and on which 
nitre is deposited by the atmosphere. The geogra- 
phy of no other part o f the world presents a more 
singular phenomenona — a salt-water river running 
from the interior towards the sea. When, in the 
dry season, the water is evaporated, the salt is de- 
posited in immense quantities, and the whole plain 
is covered with crystallized salt. When, on the 
other hand, the rains are copious, an extensive, 
shallow, temporary lake is formed, which dis- 
charges its briny water into the Brazos by the 
Salt Branch, as it is called, its waters being at 
times salt enough to pickle pork. 

The freshet produced in the Brazos by the rise 
of the Salt Branch, renders the whole river, for 
a while, brackish; and its waters deposit a fine red 
clay, as slippery as soap and as sticky as putty, 
and retaining its saltness, as does the water also, 
until an inundation from the fresh branches washes 
it away or covers it up, when the river becomes 
fresh and potable and continues so until another 
rise in the Salt Branch. The color of the water 
of the Brazos varies from a deep red to almost 
ehocolate, according as the different freshets pre- 

32 TEXAS. 

vail. The general depth of the river is from twen- 
ty to thirty feet, and one hundred and fifty in 
width; it is however in different places and sea- 
sons double its ordinary dimensions. My " Tex- 
as," published in 1833, states that the Brazos never, 
in its whole course, overflows its banks. This 
was strictly true at the time. But it so happened 
that the next year they had a terrible inundation, 
carying off cattle, corn, and every thing on its 
banks for miles on either side, and, in some places, 
the banks themselves. The river was in some 
places ten miles wide; the people went over the 
corn and cotton fields in boats. 

This was one of those visitations of Providence 
that come but once in an age, and is to be re- 
corded as an exception and not as a rule. It de- 
stroyed in some degree the beauty of the river, 
by tearing away the verdure of its shores, and de- 
positing dead timber there, making it more like 
common rivers. 

The flood named above preceded the cholera 
in Texas, which carried oiF rnany valuable citi- 
zens — making it a year of misfortune, which threw 
them back some say seven years. 

Its mouth, like those of all the important streams 
in this country, is obstructed by a narrow bar 
formed of a bank of sand, about twenty yards 
wide. The ordinary depth of water on this bar is 
six feet. The harbor within is perfectly safe, and 
the river is navigable for large ships as far as Bra- 
zoria. Three steamboats are in operation on the 

TEXAS. 33 

Brazos, and vessels are towed over the bar, 
The anchorage off the bar is good in northers 
which blow off shore, or in light southerly winds. 
The bottom is blue mud with three fathoms of 
water immediately outside the bar, which gradual- 
ly deepens as you recede from the shore. The 
substratum beneath the sand of the bar is blue 
clay, as is also that between the bar and the beach. 
This clay would afford a solid foundation for pil- 
ing, by which the channel of the river might be 
contracted over the bar, and thus a deep and se- 
cure passage formed into the largest and most im- 
portant river of Texas. The bar is about four 
hundred yards distant from the beach. 

The Trinity rises near the Red river in its great 
western bend, and running southeastwardly dis- 
charges itself, after a course of three hundred and 
fifty miles, into the northeastern corner of Galves- 
ton Bay. It is navigable for steamboats about 
two hundred miles above its mouth. This stream 
is remarkably deep with high, steep banks, and 
is from forty to sixty yards in width. Its banks 
present a rich luxuriant soil covered with a fine 
growth of timber. 

The Neches also rises near Red river, and pur- 
suing a southeasterly direction, meets the conflu- 
ent waters of Angelina and Attoyeac in Zavala's 
grant, and flows into Sabine lake. It is a deep 
but narrow stream, subject to the usual inunda- 
tions, which however are never deleterious in 
their consequences, receding within the bed of the 

34 TEXAS. 

river early in the spring, and leaving a rich deposit 
of alluvion behind. It is navigable for the smaller 
class of steam-boats seventy-five miles, and for 
keel-boats one hundred. 

The San Antonio takes its source within three 
leagues of Bexar. From a concentration of innu- 
merable springs, which unite their rivulets within 
a few yards of their fountains, it bursts forth at 
once a river, and its crystal waters flow off with 
a rapid current over a bed of limestone. Hence 
it seldom or never overflows its banks, and as there 
is not sufficient space for any dangerous accumu- 
lation of water, it is never exposed to sudden or 
violent freshets. It is about twenty yards in 
width and twelve feet deep, and is navigable for 
canoes to its source. It flows through a regiott 
which has not been granted to any Empresariosj 
though containing some of the oldest settlements in 
the country, whose growth has been somewhat 
impeded by this circumstance. It abounds in fine 
mill-seats, and will probably become the great 
manufacturing district of Texas. 

The Rio Guadalupe takes its rise in the moun- 
tainous region, and receiving several smaller tribu- 
tary streams, it finally forms a junction with the 
San Antonio a few miles above their entrance into 
Aransaso bay. Its waters are very transparent 
and navigable for canoes. It is a beautiful river, 
passing through a well-timbered country, and 
affording valuable alluvial bottoms. Its width 
is in some places as much as sixty yards. 

TEXAS. 35 

The La Baca, from its source to its entrance into 
Matagorda Bay, serves to form the western boun- 
dary of Austin's colony, separating it from De 
Witt's and St. Leon's grants. It is a handsome 
rivulet in a fertile and well timbered country. 

The San Jacinto, Buffalo Bayou, and a number 
of small streams discharge their waters into Gal- 
veston bay, after plentifully irrigating the sur- 
rounding country. The San Jacinto forms a very 
beautiful bay at its mouth, and is navigable for any 
vessel that can pass Red Fish bar, as far as the 
mouth of Buffalo Bayou. The Buffalo Bayou is 
also navigable to its forks above Harrisburg, 
within forty miles of San Felipe de Austin, which 
interval is a level prairie. It resembles a wide 
canal, with high and heavily timbered banks. The 
tide flows up as far as the forks above mentioned. 
These streams are all within Austin's colony. 

Caney creek has been before mentioned as re- 
markable for the vast cane-brake through which it 
winds its course. It is supposed formerly to have 
been a branch of the Colorado river, and this sug- 
gestion is fully confirmed by the fact, that the ap- 
pearance of the banks and soil is alike, but more 
especially by the abrupt termination of the deep, 
wide bed of the Caney, within less than two hun- 
dred yards of the river, in an alluvial bottom nearly 
ten miles in width. From these appearances it is 
very evident that the Colorado, at some former 
period, divided at, or near the present source of 
the Caney, and discharged its waters into the gulf, 

36 TEXAS. 

by two distinct mouths more than twenty-five 
miles apart, forming an extensive island. This 
island constituted what is now called the Bay 
Prairie; a large, rich, and very beautiful prairie, 
lying between the timbered lands of Caney and 
those of the Colorado. Not any of the water of 
the river has been known to flow into Caney since 
Austin's colony was commenced, nor is there any 
indication of there having been an overflow for 
many years. 

Oyster creek, on the east side of the Brazos, 
affords also extensive bodies of cane-brake prairie 
extending along its entire eourse, but unlike that 
of Caney creek, it is frequently interspersed with 
heavy timber. This singular creek takes its rise 
in the alluvial lands of the Brazos. Winding its 
course through the bottoms of this river which it 
drains, it discharges into the gulf two miles east of 
its mouth. Oyster creek forms a connexion with 
the Brazos at Bolivar by a deep channel, through 
which the waters of the river, in time of freshets, 
pour their crimson tide with a rapid current. 

There are the San Benardo, Aransaso, and 
many other smaller rivulets and creeks with which 
Texas everywhere abounds; but those named are 
the most important and valuable to those, who 
would furnish themselves with a knowledge of the 
geography of Texas. 

There are no lakes of importance to be found 
in this country. A few small ones near the 
sources of the Guadalupe and on some of the 

TEXAS. 37 

branches of Red river are all that are worthy 
of the name, and they are inconsiderable. To 
a country so well watered, intersected by riv- 
ers so numerous and important, and offering 
such valuable facilities for canal communication, 
they would be useless. Indeed, with but very lit- 
tle expense, the vast water courses of this state 
might be united in one great navigable chain, 
which would render the transportation of produce, 
from any section of this wide spread territory, to 
a commercial emporium at any point on the coast, 
a matter of the utmost ease and at a trifling cost. 


Climate — Water — Soil, &c. 

No matter what may be the resources of a 
country — though teeming with the exuberant pro- 
duce of a fertile and prolific soil, or with the luxu- 
ries of a prosperous and extensive commerce-, 
though surrounded with a rich profusion of all the 
comforts and elegancies of life; — all would present 
but small attractions to the adventurer, who could 
enjoy them only in connexion with a pestilential 
atmosphere, and a climate pregnant with disease 
and death. On the other hand, regions more ster- 
ile, but blessed with a happy temperature and salu- 
brious climate, are sought with the greatest avidity, 
and rapidly settled. Hence that country which 
fortunately blends the advantages of both, and 
offers health, comfort, and abundance, in one asso- 
ciated charm, would present an El Dorado which, 
we are told, exists only in the vanity of human 

We do not pretend to say that this visionary 
creature of the imagination has been realized, even 
in embryo, by emigrants to Texas; or, that the 
elements of perfection have so met in her, as to 
enable her ever to fulfil every vain desire of man. 

40 TEXAS. 

A land such as this nature has not bestowed upon 
earth; it is the object of faith alone, and the glo- 
rious residence of eternity. 

But while we claim nothing unreal, no poetic 
exaggeration, or fictitious excellence for this re- 
gion, we could confidently assert, that no state on 
the continent is more eminently favored by nature, 
in fertility of soil and salubrity of climate than 
Texas, or presents a like combination of natural 

All who have ever visited this lovely region, 
concur in ascribing to it one of the most delightful 
temperatures in the world. Though possessing 
a climate varying, according to local situation, 
from tropical to temperate, it is always remarka- 
bly pleasant and salubrious. Perhaps, indeed, the 
severe heat of the summer season, when the aver- 
age range of the thermometer is 85°, would render 
it quite uncomfortable and unhealthy, were it not 
for the refreshing breezes from the south, which 
blow almost without intermission. Another fortu- 
nate peculiarity has already been mentionod in a 
former chapter, and which exercises a highly bene- 
ficial influence here: we refer to the gradual slope 
in which the level lands ascend towards the inte- 
rior, and the manner in which the banks of the 
water courses generally climb from the beds of 
their streams; thus precluding the formation of 
swamps and stagnant pools to any injurious ex- 
tent. During winter ice is seldom seen except in 
the northern parts of the colonies. The tempera- 

TEXAS. 41 

ture, however, depends at all times, greatly, upon 
the regular winds, whose changes sometimes cause 
it to vary 40° in twenty-four hours. The extensive 
flat country which stretches from the coast many 
hundred miles to the interior mountains, produces 
periodical winds like the monsoons of India. From 
March to November but little rain falls, and the 
power of the sun upon the flat surface of the land 
is such as to exhale that little promptly. The face 
of that region is therefore dry in summer, and the 
continual action of the sun upon a surface so ex- 
tensive, flat and dry, causes a constant indraught 
of air from the sea. A strong southeast wind is 
thus produced, "which blows almost incessantly 
except at the full and change of the moon. These 
winds are very invigorating, and one never takes 
cold, however heated, by exposure to their influ- 
ence. After walking or riding on a hot day, 
nothing can be more delicious. They give great 
elasticity to the spirits. This is a strong point of 
difference between the climate of Texas to that 
of Louisiana, as all experience who make the 
change. The difference consists in the superior 
dryness of Texas. A fan cannot be used in Texas; 
and, if writing, you must shut the south window, 
or your papers will become Sibyl leaves. There 
are occasional interruptions by the calms of mid- 
summer and by northers of slight force and of 
short duration, in the spring and fall. 

In November the strong northers set in. The 
rains which usually fall in this month cool the land, 

42 TEXAS. 

The mountain? of the interior, now covered with 
snow, serve as generators of cold air, while the 
continued action of the sun upon the waters of 
the gulf rarities the air in that direction, and, con- 
sequently, a strong current is produced of the cold 
and heavier atmosphere of the north. Hence, in 
the months of December and January, the cold 
northern winds sweep down the plains with near- 
ly as much regularity as the south-east wind in 
summer; being occasionally interrupted by that 
wind, as noted above, chiefly on the full and change 
of the moon. In these months the southerly 
winds are of short duration, and soon produce 
rain — an infallible indication of an immediate 
norther. These northers or northerly winds blow 
sometimes from the northwest, and sometimes from 
the northeast. The northwest is most prevalent 
in mid-winter; the northeast early and late in the 
season. They come on very suddenly, — often 
without warning, always blow strong and at times 
very violently. 

The effect of these winds upon the tide-water 
of the bays along the coast is very perceptible. 
In Galveston bay a strong norther reduces the 
depth of water three or four feet and keeps out the 
tide until it moderates. A southeast gale has a re- 
verse effect. On Red Fish bar which crosses that 
bay, during a strong norther, there are at times but 
three and a half feet of water at high tide ; but, with 
a strong southeast wind, there are usually six feet 

TEXAS. 43 

and sometimes seven. This observation will apply 
to all the bays of the coast. 

These periodical winds doubtless tend greatly 
to purify the atmosphere, and contribute much to 
give to the climate of Texas a blandness which is 
rarely enjoyed, and a salubrity which we look for 
in vain in the low country of the Southern United 
States. The climate may be described to be in 
general terms a perpetual summer, and admits of 
two or three crops a year, of almost every variety 
of vegetable and fruits in great abundance and 
perfection. Peaches, figs, and other tropical fruits 
are found plentiful, even to the middle of October. 
Two gardens are common, one for spring and 
summer, and one for fall and winter. But it must 
not be supposed that there are no cold days in 
Texas, nor exceptions here, as elsewhere, to the 
general course of things. Within the last few 
years, which have been signalized by winters ex- 
cessively cold everywhere, the weather has been 
so severe in Louisiana, as well as Texas, that all 
the young orange trees were killed and the old 
ones injured; even much of the cane was destroy- 
ed. But this is a very rare occurrence and does 
not detract from the correctness of the general 
rule. In 1831, the northers, as they are techni- 
cally called, were frequent from the middle of 
November until Christmas. They seldom lasted 
long, not more than a day or two, and were inva- 
riably succeeded by warm rains or bright sunshine. 
The greatest cold produced but white frost — con- 

44 TEXAS. 

sidered at the north as the harbinger of mild 
weather — except once, when there was hail and 
sleet and the ground had a slight covering of snow, 
the only instance, except one, in the memory of 
Col. Austin since his residence in the country. 
The foliage did not leave the trees nor even the 
rose-bushes, and the grass was verdant. The sea- 
son, however, required tighter apartments and 
more comfortable clothing than would have suf- 
ficed for the summer. 

Emigrants arriving at this period of the year 
would, of course, be disappointed in their visions 
of tho climate. It is not at all surprising that 
some, who have arrived in Texas at this unpro- 
pitious moment, have become disheartened and 
sighed for home; or, what is much less excusable, 
have given vent to their morbid feelings by detrac- 
tion and slanderous misrepresentations of the 
country. The best month to arrive in is October. 
The first impression at that time is delightful as 
well as just; and there is less inconvenience and 
trouble than at any other season. It is also the 
most favorable season on account of health. The 
change to the hot months of the succeeding year 
is then gradual. Those persons who come from 
the Northern States or from Europe in the spring 
and summer, experience too sudden a change, and 
are always more or less affected by it. 

The climate is, in truth, very similar to that of 
Louisiana, but modified by so many favorable cir- 
cumstances as to possess all the genial influences 

TEXAS. 45 

of the latter, while it avoids its attendant evils. In 
addition to the invigorating sea-breeze and the 
freeness from marsh which it enjoys, there is 
another advantage which contributes, perhaps still 
more etfectuately, to the preservation of the health 
of the emigrant and which is almost peculiar to 
Texas. The settler, in locating himself, selects 
the rich lands of the prairies, where he has no 
clearing to do and no other preparation, in order 
to realize a plenteous crop, than that of turning 
the fertile loam and scattering the seed. In doing 
this, he does not let the rays of the sun suddenly 
upon the vegetable deposit of ges, which must 
be the case with land cleared by the axe, and 
which has proved so deleterious to the health of 
the Western farmer; for his soil has had a similar 
exposure for centuries, ever subject to the action 
of the sun, and presents hence no necessity for 
acclimation to a "fever and ague bottom.' 7 

Near the large river bottoms, which are annual- 
ly overflowed, a sickly region may be marked out 
where intermittents frequently prevail. But even 
here you never find the malignant fevers which 
characterize the vicinity of the Mississippi and 
other southern rivers after inundations. The rea- 
son of this is found in the fact that no miasmatic 
marshes or stagnant pools remain to mark the 
overflow, as is the case with the rivers in the south 
of the United States. 

In the vicinity of forests, as is usual, sickness 
prevails to some extent. It is thought that the 

46 TEXAS. 

moss, which we call Spanish moss and use for 
stuffing mattresses, indicates an unhealthy region; 
and this is found frequently in the woodland, es- 
pecially on the live oak. But, on the other hand, 
the forests of Texas are generally distinguished by 
an almost total absence of underwood, presenting 
frequently a smooth verdant turf for miles. The 
climate in such regions, though liable to fevers, is 
far more healthy than the lower parts of Louisiana. 
Another cause of disease is to be found in the 
water, being chiefly that of che rivers and creeks, 
which are used for all purposes. This however is 
a temporary evil, and if prolonged will be so un- 
necessarily. For although springs do not abound 
in some parts, especially near the coast, yet water 
of the very best quality may be had from wells of 
moderate depth. It is a remarkable fact, well 
worthy of notice, that stagnant lakes and pools of 
water never are covered with the green slime, 
which in summer characterizes our ponds and 
stagnant streams. The mountainous and por- 
tions of the undulating districts, however, are bet- 
ter supplied with fountains and rivulets of pure 
water; and no part of Texas is destitute of good 
potable water sufficient for all domestic uses. The 
eastern part of the country is the best watered, 
and affording, not only supplies for family use and 
irrigating the soil, but many favorable sites for 
saw-mills and manufactories. It is not to be con- 
cealed however that, generally speaking, steam 
power must be mostly relied on for moving ma- 

TEXAS. 47 

chinery in Texas, on account of the scarcity of 

In regard to soil Texas can safely challenge all 
other countries for a comparison, both as to qual- 
ity and variety. It presents every species that 
can be found in alluvion, level, undulating or 
mountainous lands; embracing all the varieties of 
clayey, sandy, pebbly, rocky, with all their inter- 

Texas in general is a prairie country having all 
the streams skirted by timber. In many of the 
grants, however, a large proportion of woodland 
is interspersed, delighting the eye with the view 
of splendid lawns and parks presenting all the 
order and taste of civilization. 

The eastern section of Texas, comprising Zava- 
la's, Burnet's, and Vehlein's grants, embraces more 
woodland perhaps than any other. It is heavily 
timbered with pine, oak. ash, cedar, cypress, and 
other forest trees, which extend quite to Red 
river, occasionally variegated by small prairies 
containing from one hundred to one thousand 
acres. The soil is well adapted for grazing and 
agriculture. The timber business will be exten- 
sive and lucrative in this section. The southern 
region, near the gulf, is admirably adapted to the 
culture of sugar and cotton, which are produced 
in considerable quantities and great perfection. 
The sugar cane grows larger and taller in its stalk, 
and possesses the saccharine matter in larger pro- 
portions and greater purity than in Louisiana. 

48 TEXAS. 

The cotton also is of a finer texture, a longer 
staple, more silky, and brings more in the market 
than that of the Southern States of our country. 
Indigo is indigenous, and grows as commonly on 
the road-side as milk-weed in Kentucky. The 
poorest land offers excellent facilities for the cul- 
ture of the vine. Native grapes are found growing 
luxuriantly in all quarters, and many of them are 
of exquisite flavor; so that, by paying attention 
to their cultivation, it is anticipated they will, in a 
short time, be able to rival the choicest productions 
of France and Italy in wine and fruits. Indeed, 
they have even at present gained some notoriety. 

The soil of the Brazos, Bernard, Caney, and 
Colorado lands has the same general character as 
to appearance, fertility, and natural productions. 
It is of a reddish cast, nearly resembling a choco- 
late color, and is evidently alluvial, formed by the 
deposits of the rivers during freshets. The depo- 
sits from the rivers at these seasons are very 
great — much greater than those from the waters 
of either the Red river or Mississippi. The Guad- 
alupe, La Baca, Navidad, and a great number of 
fine rivulets that intersect the level lands of Aus- 
tin's colony, also afford valuable bottoms of rich, 
alluvial, black soil, all of which are well clothed 
with timber. These alluvions are in the highest 
degree productive and easily cultivated. Three 
thousand pounds of seed cotton and seventy-five 
bushels of indian corn or maize are an average 
crop in these lands. 

TEXAS. 49 

That remarkable feature of the Brazos, the Salt 
Branch, has been already mentioned. It is pro- 
bably ov/ing to this peculiarity that the land of 
the Brazos has a fertility so truly extraordinary. 
The freshets of the other branches are much more 
copious and frequent than those oi the Salt Branch. 
They all rise and flow through very rich land, and 
their waters go towards the sea charged with fine 
loam and clay washed into them by the floods. 
The alternate deposits by these salt and fresh 
tributaries in time of freshets, form a soil of a light 
reddish-brown color, slightly impregnated with 
salt and nitre which it is well known are potent 
manures. This bright mulatto soil as it is called, 
formed in this manner, is considered the best land 
in Texas. The whole valley of the Brazos is 
mostly of this description. On the surface of this 
alluvion a blackish mould is formed by the decom- 
position of vegetable matter. The soil, properly 
speaking, possessing the power of vegetation in all 
its vigor, extends to an unlimited depth. When 
brought to the surface from a depth of twenty feet, 
it will produce as good crops as the Furface itself. 
Where this mulatto soil is found the banks of the 
rivers nnd smaller streams are clothed with heavy 
timber. Near the sea coast the timber is mostly 
live oak of enormous size, intermixed with Spanish 
oak, red and black oak, ash, sycamore, mulberry, 
pecan, hack berry, and various other kinds. Imme- 
diately on the banks of the river cotton wood 

abounds. This latter tree resembles the Lombardv 

50 TEXAS. 

poplar, and in respect to texture its timber is about 
the same. Hence it forms perhaps the least valua- 
ble of forest timbers. But if all other good qualities 
are absent, it possesses that of greatly facilitating 
a "cleaning" yielding easily to the progress of 
the axe. 

The meanness of such a species of timber, how- 
ever, is amply compensated by the dense and ex- 
tensive forests of oak which abound here. 

The live oak region extends from the bay of 
Matagorda to the west end of Galveston Bay, and 
on the banks of the Brazos towards the interior 
about seventy miles. There is a live oak tree in 
Bolivar sixteen feet in circumference, and keeps 
this size more than thirty feet from the ground; it 
then spreads out its enormous branches. Larger 
trees than this are not uncommon. Ten miles 
from Bolivar there is a tree which measures nine- 
teen feet in circumference. 

About fifteen miles east of Brazos the live oak 
region ends. Thence to the Sabine river fine 
cedar, oak, &c. are the growth on the water 
courses. The land in and about Bolivar is the best 
in Austin's colony. It is clothed with heavy timber, 
with peach and cane undergrowth, to the distance 
of six miles from the river. 

The undergrowth of the best land in the Brazos 
valley is cane and a species of laurel, the leaves 
of which taste like the kernel of a peach-stone, 
containing an extraordinary quantity of prussic 
acid. The cane is sometimes so thick in its 

TEXAS. 51 

growth as to render the forests almost impassa- 
ble. They grow to the height of twenty or twen- 
ty-five feet in a single season, afford excellent 
food, when green, to vast herds of cattle; and, 
falling to the ground and perishing- in a few 
months, become a rich manure to the soil. The 
leaves of the laurel resemble those of the peach 
tree. Hence it is called by the colonists the wild 
peach. This tree is an evergreen, and grows to 
the height of twenty or thirty feet though usually 
not exceeding ten. It is regarded as a certain in- 
dication of the best soil. Hence, when a colonist 
wishes to describe his land as first rate, he says it 
is all peach and cane land. 

The intervening country between the rivers, 
creeks and rivulets, is open, level, rich, and elevated 
prairie, covered with a thick and luxuriant growth 
of grass, of a good quality for pasturage, with occa- 
sional points and islands of timber, as the wooded 
projections and scattered clumps of trees are called; 
which give the plains the appearance of vast parks, 
with ornamental trees artificially arranged so as to 
beautify the prospect. Nothing can exceed the 
bsauty of these vast natural meadows in the spring 
and summer seasons; neither is it possible to form 
an estimate, even in imagination, of the number of 
useful domestic animals that may be reared on them 
without trouble or expense. Even in the w r inter 
season the pasturage is sufficiently good to dis- 
pense with feeding live stock. 

52 TEXAS. 

The value cf the prairie lands however is not 
confined to grazing alone. These lands are so 
nearly equal to timbered alluvions for all the pur- 
poses of planting and farming, that many persons 
who have cultivated this kind of land, prefer it to 
the alluvial bottoms* They maintain that the 
prairie, when properly broken up by the plough 
and sufficiently mellowed, will yield crops nearly 
equal to the best alluvions; that the labor, expense, 
and time required to clear twenty acres of tim- 
bered bottom land, and prepare it for cultivation, 
would be sufficient to prepare sixty acres of 
prairie; that, supposing both kinds of land to be 
equally prepared, a hand can cultivate two-thirds- 
more of the latter than of the former. So that, 
taking all things into account, the cultivation of 
the prairie land requires less capital in the outset, 
and is more profitable in the end than the culti- 
vation of lhe bottoms. Experience has proved 
that these calculations are not unfounded; and 
that the prairies are valuable for all the purposes 
of farming, as well as for grazing. The soil of the 
prairies is a deep black mould mixed with sand 
in various proportions. 

Above the region just noticed, the soil is very 
productive and easily cultivated. It is bounti- 
fully watered by springs and rivulets which have, 
all, more or less of bottom land adjacent to them, 
and are lined with the best of oak, cedar, and 
other forest trees of the alluvions. Successful ex- 
periments have been mode in various places on 

TEXAS. 53 

these undulating lands, to the raising of wheat, 
rye, oats, and flax, and the result satisfactorily 
establishes the fact, that these articles may be cul- 
tivated upon them to any extent. All the fruits 
and agricultural productions of the level region 
arrive at perfection here, except sugar and sea is- 
land cotton. Indigenous grapes of several varie- 
ties grow in great profusion, and extensive natural 
vineyards await the hand of the vine dresser. It 
is considered to be fully equal to the level region 
for raising black cattle and hogs, and far superior 
to it for rearing horses and sheep. Lime and other 
building stone, and clay and sand suitable for 
brick-making, are found here. 

The level lands west of Austin's colony con- 
sist mostly of prairies, and have a deep black 
mould very fertile and productive. The pastur- 
age here is superior to that of any other section, 
consisting of the Musquit grass which is very nu- 
tritious, even when dry, and continues green 
throughout the winter. Timber, sufficient for fuel 
and building materials, flourishes on the margins of 
the water courses. Above this tract, as far as 
the mountain range, the country continues good 
for grazing. The Nopal thrives with great luxu- 
riance and furnishes a bountiful supply of food for 
cattle and horses. The Musquit tree is also abun- 
dant, the fruit of which is said to be equal to In- 
dian corn for fattening cattle and hogs. Timber 
and water are generally scarce. On the San An- 
tonio river, however, in the vicinity of Bexar, 

54 TEXAS. 

water is abundant, and many fine mill-seats are 
convenient; springs here abound and the land is 
copiously irrigated. The soil is rich and produces 
corn, sugar-cane, beans, and other vegetables. 
Lime and building stone abound, and are procured 
with but little labor. 

The mountain range in many places is thickly 
covered with forests of oak, cedar, and other trees, 
interspersed with a great variety of shrubbery. 
Extensive valleys of rich, arable, alluvial lands are 
found throughout this range, particularly on the 
water courses. Most of these valley lands may 
be irrigated, at little expense, from the numerous 
streams which flow through them. The sides and 
even the summits of the mountains are, for the 
most part, susceptible of cultivation. The soil is 
sufficiently rich and adapted to wheat, rye, and 
other small grain, as well as to the vine and all 
the northern fruits. The resources of this elevat- 
ed or mountainous section are very great and 
valuable. At some future period it will, in all 
probability, supply the whole country with grain, 
and afford a surplus for exportation. Fine wool 
will be a staple article from these high lands, 
which are probably as well adapted to the raising 
of sheep as any country in the world. Timber, 
water, and building-stone are abundant. 


Trade— Products. 

The position of Texas is highly favorable for 
all the purposes of an extensive trade. Its har- 
bors and rivers are well adapted to facilitate the 
pursuits of commercial intercourse, both at home 
and abroad. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, it 
has easy access to the Mexican ports on the south, 
to the West Indies on the east, and the United 
States on the north. An immense inland trade 
may be also carried on through the ports of Texas 
with New Mexico, Chihuahua, and all the northern 
portion of the Mexican republic. This inland 
trade now passes in large caravans, from St. 
Louis in Missouri to Santa Fe in New Mexico, 
through a land infested with Indians. Whereas 
the distance from either of the ports of Texas to 
the Passo del Norte and Chihuahua, or New Mex- 
ico, is much less than from St. Louis, and a 
good wagon road may be opened the whole dis- 
tance. Except in the mountainous districts, such 
is the natural face of the country that, in order to 
obtain good and permanent roads for travelling or 
wagon transportation, all that is necessary is to 
mark the line of route, establish ferries, and bridge 

56 TEXAS. 

the smaller streams. Where no regular roads 
have been opened — towards the north and south- 
west there is, nevertheless, a very considerable 
trade transacted, reaching even to the Mexican 
capital. These routes are generally designated 
by marked trees and other signs known to the 
initiated, and are traversed by caravans of traders 
who are growing rich in this occupation, while 
they are but the pioneers of the capitalist and 
merchant in the conduct of a commerce in which, 
in a few years, thousands will be employed in 
successful speculation. The citizens of Texas 
are already alive to the great importance of roads 
and other internal improvements; und nothing but 
the sparse population and political difficulties'of 
the state, have prevented active exertions for their 
construction. A rail-road with sanguine expecta- 
tion is spoken of, which will extend from New 
Orleans to California: and which, the interest of 
the Southern United States being so deeply con- 
cerned, having once been proposed, may almost 
be said to be decided upon. Thus connected with 
the great chain of rail-roads projected and partly 
constructed in the United States, the future great- 
ness and prosperity of Texas will be greatly en- 
hanced. Never was there a surface better adapt- 
ed for the construction of rail-roads than that of 
Texas. The difference in their cost from similar 
works in the Western United State?, will almost 
compensate for the difference in the resources of 
the two countries. Timber can be abundantly 

TEXAS. 57 

furnished at a low price, while the rails can be ob- 
tained as cheap as in the United States . The 
labor required will be trifling when compared with 
that ordinarily demanded by such works. 

The rivers have been hitherto navigated by 
keel-boats as is the case in most new countries. 
These however are beginning to be superseded by 
the use of small steamboats, which are safer and 
more expeditious facilities for travel and transpor- 
tation. Three steamboats are already in opera- 
tion on the Brazos. The country is equally fav- 
orable for the construction of canals as of roads; 
and a moderate expenditure for this purpose would 
furnish an intercommunication to the different 
sections of Texas, by the connection of her rivers 
and bays, such as is seldom enjoyed. 

Regular packets, several of which are steam 
vessels? ply between the ports of Texas and New 
Orleans. Matamoras is within two days sail; 
Tampico and Vera Cruz are reached in four, and 
the all-consuming market of Cuba in five days. 
In all the Mexican ports articles of home produce 
are free of duty, and protected by a high tariff on 
similar productions of the United States and other 
foreign countries. There is a protecting duty on 
tobacco, indigo, and I think, on cotton. On the 
former amounting to prohibition. Importations 

♦This is a little iti anticipation. There are not actually 
•team vessels, hut nrny he hefore our book is out. The steam- 
boats are built in the United States and taken there, hence 
we hear of steam ves?eU between New Orleans and Brazoria. 

58 TEXAS. 

of articles of foreign production and free from du- 
ties, though now, on account of the feeble and 
heretofore distracted state of the country, intro- 
duced from New Orleans, can more conveniently 
and at less expense be made from Liverpool direct* 
This course of trade will obtain whenever a reg- 
ular commerce is permitted by the state of the 

This arrangement will change the present un- 
natural channel of trade to Chihuahua and New 
Mexico, from Missouri to the ports of Texas; 
where merchandise can be delivered cheaper than 
at St. Louis, and transported at less than half the 
expense to these countries. This is evident from 
the fact that safer and better roads four hundred 
miles in length, can afford superior facilities to one 
of one thousand miles through a wilderness infest- 
ed by tribes of ferocious savages. The advanta- 
ges accruing from such a trade would be invalua- 
ble; it wouid people and civilize the western fron- 
tier of Texas, add greatly to the State revenue, 
and enrich the sea board-cities engaged in it. We 
will not be accused of estimating this trade too 
highly when we state, that the annual importations 
from Missouri to these provinces amount to nearly 
two millions of dollars. But no matter whence 
importations are made to Texas; whether from 
Liverpool, New York, or New Orleans, still are 
the facilities of this trade superior in Texas. 

We may be asked here why speak of what may 
and not what does exist? Why has not Texas 

TEXAS. 59 

already availed herself, to some extent at least, 
of these advantages? 

The answer is an easy one, the reason plainly 
evident. It is but a few years since Texas was a 
terra incognita — an unexplored wilderness — un- 
blest by the presence of civilized man, and though 
now visited with a rapid tide of emigration, its 
population yet scarcely exceeds fifty thousand 
souls. Towns have sprung up like mushrooms, 
but only to deceive the eye of him who surveys 
the map of this state with the idea of a well set- 
tled country. They are as yet in embryo, and 
scarcely one exists worthy of the name of a "place 
of business." Every farmer w T ith an extensive 
estate lays out a town, which often consists solely 
of his own "castle" — far from being a castle in the 
air or Chateau d'Espagne, it is too often in the 
mud. Agriculture has been almost the only, as 
it will, for many years to come, continue to be the 
chief occupation of the citizens. Superadded to 
these is the fact that, through a population of emi- 
grants in a new country, and scarcely settled in 
the pursuits of a livelihood, they have yet been 
engaged in continued political commotion, which 
has finally ended in a revolutionary struggle against 
Santa Anna and Centralism. And under these 
circumstances the home-consumption of agricul- 
tural products has been equal to the production. 

The commerce and wealth of Texas hence are 
almost altogether prospective. As such then we 
must speak of them. To exhibit the resources of 

60 TEXAS. 

the country in its natural advantages, is all that 
can be expected at present: it remains for future 
enterprise and industry to evolve the rich blessings 
they contain. 

The planters of Texas believe they can vie 
in agricultural productions with the planters and 
farmers of Louisiana and the other Southern States, 
and that they will be able to sell their produce in 
the ports of the Gulf at a less price, than that of 
the same description produced on the plantations 
of their neighbors. And such is the profusion of 
their crops that, in a short time, their agricultural 
exports will amount to the sum total, or exceed 
the value of their necessary importations. Texas 
will thus receive from the foreigner, merchandise 
in exchange for her products; while her merchants 
in its consumption at home or in adjacent pro* 
vinces, will realize a return in gold and silver. 
This will exhibit a case entirely different from the 
commercial statistics of the other provinces of 
Mexico, where the exports of specie are returned 
for merchandise at an exorbitant price. Indeed, 
Texas will realize in these same Mexican pro- 
vinces the best markets for her produce and manu- 
factures, exchanging the fruits of her fertile soil 
and busy industry, for their richer treasures of 
precious metals. 

Among the productions which may be consider- 
ered as naturally adapted to the soil of Texas, 
and which will form important articles of com- 
merce, cotton stands pre-eminent. This is the 

TEXAS. 61 

great crop of Texas and has, for some years, pro- 
duced as much as ten thousand bales. Notwith- 
standing these difficulties the crop this year is said 
to be double what it was last year, amounting 
it is stated to sixty thousand bales. Its staple is 
uniformly good, but near the Gulf it approaches, 
or rather equals in length and fineness, the Sea 
Island cotton. It needs not to be planted oftener 
than once in three or four years, to yield a crop 
superior in quality and quantity to the annual 
plantings of Louisiana. One acre of ground well 
cultivated will yield from two thousand to twenty- 
five hundred pounds, at an average price of eleven 
cents per pound. The planter never fears realiz- 
ing great and instant profits for his labor, cotton 
being always in demand at fair prices wherever it 
is produced. His crops also can scarcely fail, the 
climate being ever favorable and the soil, whether 
upland or lowland, woodland or prairie, all admi- 
rably adapted for the culture of this article. 

The sugar cane is beginning to be extensively 
cultivated, and will prove a most valuable article 
to Texan agriculturists. It grows luxuriantly 
throughout the whole level region. Neither Arkan- 
sas nor Louisiana can rival Texas in the production 
of this cane. The stalk grows much larger and 
taller, and possesses the saccharine matter in larger 
proportions and greater purity in the latter than 
in the former States, and is said to sweeten a foot 
and a half higher up than the Louisiana cane. Its 



manufactures always find a ready market at a 
good price. There are two sorts of cane known 
as the ribin and Creole cane, which differ very 
little as to intrinsic value, the latter perhaps being 
rather inferior. The former however must be 
planted svery three years, while the latter con- 
tinues to grow from the roots for ten or fifteen 
years, producing good crops. 

That invaluable article of bread-stuff, maize or 
Indian corn, is produced abundantly in every dis- 
trict of this country. Seventy-five bushels to the 
acre have been frequently gathered, but it is not 
usual for the farmer to bestow a sufficiency of 
labor on their corn crops, to produce that quantity 
generally. Two crops are annually gathered, 
yielding in all about seventy-five bushels of shelled 
corn, worth one dollar and fifty cents* per bushel 
at the farms. The first crop is usually planted 
about the middle of February, and the second 
about the 17th of June. It is stated by a visiter 
to Texas that upon the poorest kind of soil, known 
among the inhabitants by the name of hog-bed prai- 
rie, Indian corn, if merely dropped into holes made 
with a stick, will yield considerable crops even 
without hoing, and it is commonly obtained from 
the prairie cane-brake lands the first year, when 
there is no time to prepare the land with the plough, 
by merely making a hole for the seed with the hoe. 

* When I was last in Texas corn was two dollars per bushel. 
The demand is great and will continue to be great for vears — 
price cannot fail. 

TEXAS. 63 

At present, and probably for many years to come, 
the home-consumption will demand the whole 
amount of crops produced; but a surplus for for- 
eign markets will meet with ready sale in the Mex- 
ican ports, where it commands an average price 
of two dollars and a half per bushel. 

Wheat, rye, oats, barley, and other small grain, 
yield plenteous harvests to the farmer throughout 
the undulating district, when cultivated. On ac- 
count, however, of the scarcity of mills, notwith- 
standing the high price of flour, grain is not ex- 
tensively raised at present; other crops proving 
more lucrative. But the soil and climate being 
alike genial to their production and the wants of 
the inhabitants demanding it, great inducements 
will be presented for their culture in future. The 
establishment of mills will be the signal for abun- 
dant harvests of grain. 

Flax and hemp, though their cultivation has 
hitherto been neglected, are well adapted to the 
soil, and, from experiments made, are able to fur- 
nish ample rewards to the labor of the agricultur- 
ists. Rice is already produced in considerable 
quantities and can be to any extent. 

Tobacco is grown luxuriantly throughout Texas, 
but home-consumption and the restraints of law 
prevent its being an article of commerce. It 
forms at present an item of considerable moment 
in a heavy contraband trade with the interior 
Mexican States. The time however is doubtless 
near when it will be produced in such quantities as 

64 TEXAS. 

to alter the present policy and render it a valua- 
ble export. It is, and will continue to be, under 
every state of policy an important product. 

The indigenous indigo of Texas is considered by 
those who have tried it, to be greatly superior to 
the plant which is cultivated in the United States. 
it is manufactured in families for domestic use, 
and is preferred to the imported indigo. It grows 
wild on the sides of the roads like the milk-weed 
in Kentucky. Any remarks to prove the value of 
such an article would be useless. In a table of 
exports from the port of Vera Cruz, it is stated 
to have averaged for severel years before the Mex- 
ican revolution the value, in exportation, of two 
hundred and eighty thousand dollars annually. 
The southern states of our Republic realize a heavy 
amount of profit in its cultivation. It is evident 
then, that in this product the Texan farmer pos- 
sesses a source of much wealth. It has as yet 
been little attended to, as indeed has every thing 
else in this State of a day, but the necessaries of 
life. This, among other facts, will serve to exhibit 
how confined have hitherto been the energies of 
this recently settled country, and that the present 
pursuits of her inhabitants which are nearly the 
same in every new settlement, are no test of what 
they will become under the influence of natural 
facilities. The resources of a country are never 
explored or understood by an emigrant population 
for many years. Until taught by experience they 
always attempt to graft their own customs and 

TEXAS. 65 

comforts on the land of their adoption. This must 
needs be the case in all similar circumstances as it 
has been with Texas, who has as yet received but 
the pioneers of an extensive future emigration. But 
once again restored to peace and filled with a tide 
of industrious emigrants from the West and from 
Europe, Texas will unfold agricultural treasures 
and commercial advantages which will astonish a 
world that has scarcely hitherto known of her 

The grape abounds here in great variety and of 
the finest flavor, and no country can be better 
adapted for the culture of the vine than this. Ex- 
periments have been successfully made in the man- 
ufacture of wine from the native grape, and con- 
siderable quantities of the most exquisite quality 
have been made. The liquors and fruits obtained 
from the Texan vineyards will form an important 
article of commerce. The same description of 
grape, which is acrid and unpalatable in Louisiana, 
is sweet and finely flavored in Texas, where the 
poorest description of land is admirably adapted 
to the culture of the vine. Although their culture 
has not as yet been carried to any extent, the 
manufacture of the wild indigenous grape has been 
so eminently successful as to warrant an almost 
unrivalled prosperity to the future vintner. A 
great variety of fruits, both of the tropical and 
more temperate climates, are produced in uncom- 
mon abundance and perfection. Olives, oranges, 


lemons, figs, prunes, peaches, &c. are of the finest 
quality, and may be obtained in great profusion. 

T he date also, it is thought, may be successfully 
cultivated. Melons of the richest gusto abound 
every where, and culinary vegetables are plenti- 
ful and excellent. Beans, peas, sweet and Irish 
potatoes, and other esculent plants found in the 
United States, with a great variety of garden 
stuffs peculiar to the country, enrich the horticul- 
ture of Texas. 

A genuine Yankee could luxuriate here in a 
paradise of pumpkins— a field of which is really a 
curiosity — they are in such numbers and so large. 
A field once planted with them, seldom needs 
planting again* The scattered seeds sow them- 
selves, and the plants are cultivated w T ith the corn. 
These pumpkins, as large often as a man can lift, 
have a sweet flavor and are very palatable. Sweet 
potatoes are also deserving notice for their rapid 
growth and unusual size, some of them weighing 
from four to seven pounds, and with slight culti- 
vation produce frequently five hundred bushels to 
the acre. Notwithstanding this, they meet a ready 
sale at seventy-five cents per bushel. Culinary 
vegetables of all kinds are in demand at good 
prices in the neighboring Mexican ports. 

Dried fruits and distilled spirits may be estimat- 
ed as important articles of produce: — of the for- 
mer, peaches, figs, grapes, &c. — of the latter, 
whiskey, peach and grape-brandy, and rum. 

The extensive natural pastures found in the 

TEXAS. 67 

prairies furnish peculiar facilities for rearing horses, 
black cattle, hogs, sheep and goats. They require 
no attention but to be branded and prevented 
from straying too far from home and becoming 
wild. Large quantities of mules are raised an- 
nually, many of which are carried to the' United 
States; and it proves a very lucrative business, 
inasmuch as the labor and expense in rearing 
them are trifling and the price they command 
good. Cattle also are raised to a very great ex- 
tent, and it may almost be said that a man can rear 
a hundred as easily as he can a half dozen. They 
get their own living and protect themselves, and 
all that is necessary for a farmer is to detect his 
brand on a herd, and claim them as his property. 
In many parts of Texas, hogs may be raised in 
large numbers on the native mast. Acorns, pe- 
cans, hickory-nuts, &c. with a variety of nutritious 
grasses and many kinds of roots, afford them am- 
ple sustenance during the year. 

Butter, lard, &c. are of course yielded in abun- 
dance, and are important articles to the farmer, 
especially in the vicinity of the towns where a 
surplus always meets with a ready demand at high 

Poultry are raised with great ease and are val- 
uable items in the stock of the farmer. Eggs and 
chickens always sell high, as notwithstanding the 
quantity yielded it is not sufficient to supply the 
consumption. And though their price will be les- 
sened in time by force of competition in produ- 

68 TEXAS. 

cers, they will never fail bringing an ample com* 
pensation for the trifling trouble and expense ot 
raising them. Game of the finest kind requires 
only the skill of the hunter to be afforded plente- 
ously. For an enumeration of the animals of the 
chase and hunt, vide the succeeding chapter on 
Natural History. 

The honey-bee seems to have found a favorite 
haunt in Texas. These industrious insects swarm 
in great abundance in every district, and beeswax 
and honey may be produced in any quantity and 
without the least expense. White or bleached 
beeswax generally sells for one dollar a pound in 
the cities of Mexico, where large quantities are 
made use of for candles in the churches. It is 
common for hunters to secure the wax and threw 
away the honey as of comparatively trifling value, 
and so abundant. Texas is without doubt equal 
and perhaps superior to Cuba for bees, and will 
rival that island in the exportation of honey and 

The lumber business cannot fail of becoming at 
some future day an object of considerable impor- 
tance. Large quantities of live oak of the no- 
blest kind abound in the southern part of Austurs 
eolony. Lofty cedars and pine of various de- 
scriptions with some cypress are found, and must 
prove valuable materials of lumber. The different 
kinds of oak, ash, cherry, walnut, elm, hackberry, 
linn, &c. can be obtained in abundance, and as is 
y* ell known, are excellent timber for building. 

TEXAS. 69 

In the western grants the Musquit tree is most 
common. It is a species of locust, and besides 
furnishing in its fruit excellent food for cattle and 
hogs, is a superior timber on account of its dura- 
bility, which is equal to that of cedar for the pur- 
poses of fencing. It forms also a principal and 
suitable article for fire-wood. The species of 
wood above-mentioned are many of them desirable 
for fuel, in addition to which, however, many other 
kinds, among which is hickory so much sought for 
every where for that purpose, are found in most 
all the grants. 

The nopal celebrated for the production of the 
cochineal insect, the most important export of 
Mexico, grows luxuriantly, attaining frequently a 
height of fifteen feet, and forms in places impene- 
trable thickets. Its fruit is highly esteemed and 
purchased eagerly in the Mexican markets. This 
fruit with the leaves furnishes food for vast herds 
of cattle and wild horses. The various kinds of 
mulberry are common forest trees throughout 
Texas, and afford every facility that can be desir- 
ed for the rearing of silk-worms. The vanilla, it 
is thought, can be successfully cultivated; if so, it 
will be a commercial commodity of no mean 

In the policy of the government of Texas, and 
in the resources of the country, manufacturers will 
find the most encouraging prospects of success in 
their respective pursuits. The quantities of pel- 
tries furnished by the vast herds of wild cattle. 

70 TEXAS. 

wild horses, buffalo, deer, &c. present unequalled 
inducements for the settlement of tanners, cur- 
riers, shoemakers, saddlers, &c. The manufac- 
tures of these arts ean be sold at large profits in 
the Mexican market, but the home-consumption 
itself will for a length of time require them all. 
High duties are levied upon all those articles of 
manufacture, whose raw materials are found plen- 
tiful or may be produced in the country. Hence 
artizans can supply their citizens with such arti- 
cles at large profits. 

The protection of a tariff extends to the cotton 
manufacturer the greatest encouragement for the 
establishment of factories in Texas. Cloths which 
sell at ten cents in the United States, are imported 
and sold here in large quantities, as being articles 
of necessary consumption and, consequently, al- 
ways in demand, with a duty upon them of twen- 
ty cents per yard. With a protection of this 
kind, cannot the manufacture of cotton cloths, 
where the raw material is an abundant product of 
the soil, become a highly lucrative business? 

Immense quantities of salt are obtained, and the 
quantity can be almost indefinitely increased from 
the numerous salt springs and marshes which are 
frequent throughout the country. Salt is gathered 
from the waters of the Brazos after inundations 
from the Salt Branch; it is also made in consid- 
erable quantities at Velasco, near the mouth of 
the Brazos, and salt lagunes are scattered in every 
section of this wide territory, furnishing copiously 

TEXAS. 71 

the inhabitants of the colonies with this indispen- 
sable article. 

Lumber is very scarce, not being made in suffi- 
cient quantities to supply the demand. The cause 
of this is found in the fact, that though there is no 
want of timber, but few mills have been as yet es- 
tablished; their number however is increasing, and 
lumber is now advertised by the Harrisburgh 
steam-mill company at twenty-five dollars per 
thousand feet. Fortunes may be realized here by 
good sawyers, with a slight capital. Grist-mills 
are also much needed, and their owners will find 
profitable employment. 

Coach and chair makers, carpenters, black- 
smiths, and all workers in wood, will find ample 
encouragement for their labors in supplying the 
necessities of their fellow-citizens and the luxuries 
of their neighboring wealthy states. 

The manufacture of tobacco must in time be a 
considerable business. Wool and bagging facto- 
ries have inviting prospects of success, but will 
not perhaps prove so lucrative as some others. 
Experiment, however, alone can settle the ap- 
propriate manufactures to be cherished in Texas. 
As yet but little has been done in the department 
of handicraft; for the same causes which have 
served to retard the advance of agriculture and 
the progress of internal improvements, have ope- 
rated still more banefully on the manufacturing in- 
terest. Hence we have no statistics of the pre- 
sent condition of Texan manufactures, and our 

72 TEXAS. 

task is accomplished in designating those pursuits 
which may be advantageously and with the great- 
est facility prosecuted by the future colonist. The 
most prominent of these we have presented, pay- 
ing regard only to those which offer present facili- 
ties and emoluments, without even a glance to- 
wards many other arts which, fostered by time 
and required by the wants of a growing popula- 
tion, will in years to come prove sources of wealth 
to thousands of industrious mechanics. These 
will be recorded by the future statist and chroni- 
cler when Texas shall have taken a higher rank 
among the nations of the earth, and the enter- 
prise of her citizens explored the true springs of 
national greatness and individual prosperity. 


Natural History. 

In treating of the natural history of Texas, we 
expect to give signal umbrage to the disciples of 
the Linnsean school. Those objects of the science 
which it shall become our task to notice, have al- 
ready been classed by the attentive naturalist, 
and to such we refer the scientific inquirer; for 
our classification will be limited by the grand di- 
visions of the kingdoms of nature, and, consequent- 
ly, to the student of artificial systems, will present 
matter of dire offence. But to him whose curios- 
ity seeks for useful and practical knowledge, we 
hope our details will not prove wholly uninte- 

Geology and Mineralogy,— -The valley of the 
Brazos, and nearly all of Texas, is one vast 
alluvion, with a surface of black mould, formed by 
the decomposition of vegetable matter. The 
whole body of the earth is soil, and when brought 
to the surface from a depth of twenty feet, pro- 
duces as good crops as the surface itself. One 
never sees a stone here, with a few exceptions of 
limestone and a soft friable sandstone ; which how- 
ever are rarely found. The banks of the rivers, 

74 TEXAS. 

whether in marsh or upland, are all of secondary- 
formation, and never present strata of rocks, or 
any thing beside the rich, black soil, which every- 
where abounds. The highlands, however, appear 
frequently to be but one complete bank of conch t 
oyster, and muscle shells, cemented together with 
a fine black loam. Beds of gravel are very un- 

Those persons who have been long in the coun- 
try and are at all curious in such matters, do not 
hesitate to declare their belief, that what now con- 
stitutes Texas, was once, and at no very remote 
period, the bottom of the sea. We will not spec- 
ulate on this theory, though it might be done with 
safety; it not being consistent with the plan of 
our work. We however present some of the 
facts which are used in the argument upon the 

It is well known that land is making on all the 
Texan coast, and that the mouths of the rivers are 
growing towards the sea. We are told also that 
a submarine island has been formed adjacent to the 
main land, so near to the surface as to be dange- 
rous to vessels. To this is added, that persons in 
New Orleans remember when the mouths of the 
Mississippi were several miles higher up than at 
present. Upon these data is founded the hypothe- 
sis that Texas is extending still farther into the 
Gulf, and thus offers conclusive evidence, that her 
interior itself is of very recent and similar forma- 

TEXAS. 75 

The geology of the country, however, is sup- 
posed to offer still more convincing proofs of the 
truth of this position. We have already spoken 
of the structure of the surface in the interior, of 
the scarcity of all kinds of mineral productions, 
not even pebbles being found but very rarely, and 
of the evident formation of the banks of the rivers. 
In addition to these, the strongest testimony, per- 
haps, of her marine origin is found in those singu- 
lar mounds so frequently occuring in Texas. A 
description of one of these will suffice to deter- 
mine the character of the whole. On the road 
from Brazoria to San Felipe, there is a remarka- 
ble elevation rising from the level surface of the 
prairie. It is however, instead of one, rather a 
cluster of small hills, occupying about a league of 
land, and attaining with a gradual wave-like swell, 
to the height of a hundred feet from the plain to 
the summit. This really trifling eminence becomes 
here, in contrast with the uniform level which 
surrounds it, a very conspicuous object, clearly 
visible at a distance of thirty miles; — a phenome- 
non indicative of the extreme flatness of the sur- 
rounding plain. The materials of which it is com- 
posed however are the most interesting to the 
curious geologist, and are , such as to induce the 
belief that these mounds are banks, formed by 
oysters when the Texan bottom-lands were part 
of the bed of the sea. Limestone, chalk, gypsum, 
and other minerals not yet analyzed; and conch, 
oyster, and a great variety of marine productions, 

76 TEXAS. 

are turned up by cray-fish, and are known to form 
the composition of this and the various mounds 
scattered throughout the country. 
, In the northwestern part of Austin's colony, 
and thence to the mountains, rocks and mineral 
productions are more plentiful; clay and sand suit- 
able for brick-making are also abundantly furnish- 
ed. These are^articles of value in a country, a 
great portion of which is furnished with but little 
stone. The mountains in the northwest are not 
distinguished in point of elevation, but are believ- 
ed to possess great mineral wealth; but they have 
been as yet very imperfectly explored. Iron, lead, 
and mineral coal have been found, and tradition 
says, that a silver mine on the San Saba was suc- 
cessfully wrought many years ago, but the prose- 
cution of it was arrested by the Indians, who cut 
off the workmen. Towards the head-waters of the 
Brazos, a large mass of metal is known to exist. 
It is of several tons weight, and said to be wor- 
shipped by the Comanche Indians. It is malleable 
and bright, having little oxide or,rust upon its sur- 
face. A large piece of this metal was taken to 
New York many years since, by way of Nach*- 
toches, under a belief that it was platina. It is 
said that experiments made by chemists in that 
city, proved it to be pure iron in a malleable state. 
The existence of such a mass of metal is doubtless 
very remarkable. It is, however, well attested 
by many persons in Nachitoches and Texas, who 
have been at the spot and seen it. Whether it be 

TEXAS. 77 

iron, is perhaps not so well ascertained. Iron, 
lead and coal have been found in many places, 
and specimens of copper, in a very pure state, 
have been obtained on the head-waters of the 
Brazos. Strong indications of the precious met- 
als exist in the mountainous region on the sources 
of the Colorado. But little attention has been 
paid to the mineral wealth of Texas by her citi- 
zens. For though it is highly probable that rich 
veins of the precious metals may be found here, 
she yet offers nobler rewards to the industry of 
the agriculturist and the manufacturer, than she 
ever will to that of the miner. 

Salt springs and salt lagunes, as has been before 
stated, abound throughout Texas. In Burnet's 
grant, on the waters of the Netches, there is a 
copious salt spring, so strong that common salt is 
not soluble in it. It spreads over a surface of 
several hundred yards, and the ground is thickly 
incrusted with it by natural evaporation. It is 
supposed that that singular phenemenon, the Salt 
Branch of the Brazos } ias its waters impregnated 
by an immense depository of the mineral near its 
source; — not Mr. Jefferson's salt mountain, of 
which so much was said and sung at the time of 
the Louisiana purchase, but a vast plain of two 
hundred miles in extent, charged with mineral 
salt. It is however but little known, being situated 
in the Comanche country. 

Nitre is formed on the salt lagunes, in dry sea- 
sons, by the atmosphere. Sulphur springs are 

78 TEXAS. 

also found; but whether they are very productive, 
we are not informed. 

Lime, in the northern part of the undulating and 
in the mountainous districts, can be plentifully 
furnished from the limestone, which is there 
found. In the level district, where there is no 
stone whatever, oyster shell lime can be substi- 

A species of bitumen abounds on the coast; — - 
but whether it is an article of any value we have 
not learnt. 

Botany, — The displays of vegetable nature in 
Texas are profuse, various, and valuable; present- 
ing, on one hand, the stately and magnificent for- 
est, and again delighting the eye with the rich and 
splendid scene of the luxuriant prairie, gar- 
nished with an endless variety of beautiful and 
fragrant flowers; making a landscape of indescri- 
bable and surpassing loveliness. It would be an 
elysium for the florist and the poet. One feels, 
amid such scenes, as we suppose Adam to have felt 
when, in the infancy of nature and every object 
bore the impress of its Maker, he was made the 
first and sole tenant of Eden, and left to commune 
with and contemplate the wonders of creation. 

But we shall not pretend to compile the Flora 
of this garden of nature. It would be a task too 
laborious, and more extensive than is consistent 
with our present purpose, which is to exhibit a 
simple view of the principal botanical treasures of 
Texas; such as will interest and reward the en- 

TEXAS. 79 

terprise of the emigrant settling in that country. 
Every variety of timber commonly found in the 
American forests is abundant in Texas, with many 
other species peculiar to the country. We have 
had occasion to speak of these in a former chapter, 
but will briefly recapitulate them here. Live oak 
abounds in the southern part of Austin's colony. 
White red, black, and Spanish oak, are common 
forest trees. Of other timber, are found walnut, 
hickory, ash, wild cherry, mulberry, elm, hack- 
berry, red cedar — more especially on the uplands — 
yellow pine of the noblest description, linn, gum, 
pecan, cotton tree, and willow on the borders of 
streams, being the first growths upon the allu- 
vial formations, the Musquit tree in the western 
grants, poplar, china tree, sycamore, hawthorn — 
black and white, sassafras— growing very large and 
high, and wild peach, a species of laurel bearing a 
valuable mast indicative of the best soil; its fruit 
contains an extraordinary quantity of prussic acid. 
The holly is a fine tree in this country; it grows 
high, and is extremely ornamental in the forests, 
with its glossy leaves and clusters of red berries. 
Besides these, there are many other fruit and tim- 
ber trees, to be found among the underwood and 
forests; but we will let those already enumerated 

Among the plants of Texas, the Nopal or prick- 
ly pear is a most interesting and valuable produc- 
tion. In some districts of the upper country, it 
grows in great abundance, and forms in places 

80 TEXAS. 

impenetrable thickets higher than a man on horse- 
back. It produces an immense quantity of fruit, 
which, together with the young leaves, furnishes 
food for vast herds of cattle and wild horses. Of 
the fruit of the nopal, there are two kinds; one is 
a scarlet, about the size and shape of a large pear. 
T he other is much longer, and, when ripe, of a 
yellowish white color. The latter is most esteem- 
ed, and is sold in the markets of Mexico as a choice 
fruit. During the revolution, the army of the pa- 
triots was, at one time, preserved from famine by 
the fruit of the nopal. Which circumstance, in 
connexion with its never failing abundance, its 
great value for feeding cattle, and for nourishing 
the cochineal insect, probably suggested the idea 
of adopting it as a part of the Mexican Arms.* 

* Among the superstitions of the Mexicans, there is a tradi- 
tion, from which many credulous people derive the origin of 
this emblem. The Mexicans, it is said, originally inhabited a 
cold climate, and a barren, mountainous country, where, with 
difficulty, they gathered a scanty subsistence. They resolved 
to migrate in a body. The Great Spirit appeared to the king 
in a vision, and directed him to lead his nation to the south. 
An eagle should fiy before them to direct their course. This 
guide they were to follow, until it should settle and finally dis- 

In conformity with these instructions, the whole nation fol- 
lowed the eagle, which according to promise, flew before them. 
The eagle stopped on a tree in California, but did not disappear, 
continuing to fly around and around the same spot, every day. 
The king, believing that this was the place destined for the per- 
manent location of his people, caused large storehouses to be 
erected, the ruins of which may be seen in the forests of Cali- 
fornia to this day, known by the name of "Las Casas Grandes." 

TEXAS. 81 

The nopal is the favorite food of the cochineal, 
an insect that furnishes the most beautiful crim- 
son dye, and which is so much esteemed as to be 
a very valuable article of commerce. Both the 
plant and the insect are indigenous in Mexico. 
They have not as yet been cultivated in Texas, 
and, consequently, with her, they have formed no 
object of commerce. That they will be, however, 
and that with success, is highly probable. For 
the information of our readers, we subjoin here an 
article on their culture, with which we have been 
favored by a friend, a traveller in Guatimala, 
where nopalades are frequent and valuable. 


The plant called by the Creoles and Spaniards 
of the country the Nopal, is the Cactus Opurtia 
Maxima of some botanists, but the Cactus Cochi- 
nilifer of Linnseus, and the Indian fig-tree of the 

At this place the nation remained a few years, the eagle still 
hoverine: around the spot. At length the king received an indi- 
cation, by means of another vision, that the eagle would lead 
them to their permanent home, having rested at that place only 
to let them recruit. Accordingly, the winged guide again set 
his feathered sails for the destined haven. The nation, with 
the king at their head, again followed the eagle, until he settled 
upon a Nopal, on an island in the lake Tezcuco, and shortly af- 
terwards died. This was pronounced by the king, priests, and 
wise men of the nation, to be the spot designed by the Great 
Spirit, for their permanent location. Here they remained and 
founded the city of Mexico. 

82 TEXAS. 

hot houses. The plant when properly attended 
to, is suffered to grow only so high that a man 
seated on a stool, a foot from the ground, can 
reach the top to clean it, or to collect the insects 
upon it. The site chosen for a nopalade is of such 
elevation as to be exempt from too much heat from 
the direct rays of the sun, too much cold, or too 
abundant rains. It should be neither too hot nor 
too cold, too moist or too dry. Few have suc- 
ceeded in Guatimala that have not been at least 
fifteen hundred yards above the level of the sea. 
Rich, fine, deep, alluvion land is the best, and on 
such a descent as will permit the rains readily 
to pass off. 

The earth being well dug, pulverized, and cleans- 
ed from weeds and foreign matter, is hoed into 
rows seven feet apart, and set with the leaves of 
the nopal at two feet distance; thus, allowing each 
plant about fourteen square feet, with an occa- 
sional omission of a row, in order to have a wider 
path, for the greater convenience of removing the 
weeds, &c. An acre of four thousand eight hun- 
dred and forty square yards may contain about 
three thousand plants. These are well attended 
to, and, if the season be dry, watered for a few 
weeks. The leaves or slips, which are thus set in 
the ground, vary from ten to thirteen inches in 
length, and from six to eight in width, and are 
about one inch thick, when full grown. If left 
unpruned, at that period, the plant would exceed 
twenty feet in height, 

TEXAS. 83 

When it has six full grown leaves, which it will 
have at thirty months after its insertion, (if proper- 
ly attended to,) the cochineal insect is removed 
from other plants or leaves, (for these leaves be- 
ing very succulent afford nourishment a long time 
after they are lopped from the stock,) and trans- 
ferred in little parcels done up in certain leaves, 
or thin husks of maize; thus secured, they are 
attached with thorns to the different parts of the 
new plant. This process is esteemed as delicate 
as any, and the season for it must be mild, calm, 
and dry, or all such labor would prove useless and 

The quantity of young insects for an acre, is 
as three pounds for a hundred and eighty plants, 
when very thrifty. Three pounds of the green 
insects are equal to one of dry. The expense of 
such seed is therefore the price of about sixteen 
and two-third pounds of the best merchanta- 
ble cochineal. I visited a nopalade of eighteen 
hundred plants which received three hundred and 
fifty pounds of green seed, but these were plants 
of greater age than those here referred to. A no- 
palade is a property extremely hazardous. Besides 
uncontrollable natural events, its success must 
depend essentially upon the conduct of who- 
ever has the immediate charge of it. Two of 
three seasons most invariably fail, and the third is 
seldom so good as I have described. The gather- 
ings or crops are thrice a year; that of April and 
May is the best. 

84 TEXAS. 

Care must be taken to keep the ground entirely 
free of weeds, dead leaves, or any substance 
which might harbor vermin of any description, 
which might destroy the cochineal, unless assidu- 
ously attended to and removed by the persons, 
whose duty it is to protect them from such depre- 
dations. This part of the duty is also a nice 
one; for there are insects resembling the male 
cochineal that are inclined to feed on this plant, 
which, if neglected, would soon cause all the fe- 
males to drop from the leaves, and thus be de- 
stroyed. They must be removed with the point 
of a sharp and delicate instrument designed for 
the purpose, by a person sitting on a stool and 
looking over the whole, leaf by leaf. 

The plant affords nourishment from its third to 
its twelfth year, but is best from the fourth to 
the eighth. After twelve years it is removed, 
and the ground is reset with leaves from the old 
stock, or brought from elsewhere. They may be 
removed from any distance, and would grow after 
being hung up in the air for months, when planted 
and attended to. 

The nopal produces flowers of white, pale yel- 
low, and pink. They are very handsome, and the 
fruit is of an agreeable flavor and abundant; but 
is not permitted to grow on the plants designed 
for the cochineal, as the nourishment necessary for 
the insects would thus be diminished. 

To protect the plants during the season of bear- 
ing cochineal, small tents are sometimes erected 

TEXAS. 85 

in rows over them, forming an angle at the top, 
and covered with palm leaves, mats, or some of 
the long tough grasses from the mountains, fur- 
nishing a shelter from both sun and rain. 

The male insect is extremely small, having two 
wings. The female has no wings; is crimson on 
both sides, but most so on the back — is covered 
with a white downy substance — has six legs, 
hardly visible from their shortness — lives twenty 
days and then dies, after giving birth to an innu- 
merable progeny, so minute as to appear but as 
eggs. They are apparently motionless for a day, 
when they attach themselves to the most succu- 
lent part of the leaf near where they were first 
deposited; they soon however are full grown and 
become torpid. Then the person who collects 
them, having a cup of water in one hand, and a 
fine hair pencil in the other, selects such as are 
well grown from those which are not, and brushes 
them one by one into his cup, when they are 
drowned by the water. Each day's collection is 
put into an oven, or in a pan over a slow fire 
where they are dried to death (thus doubly killed 
by drowning and baking). The least wound to 
the insect would divest it of its coloring matter, 
and is therefore carefully avoided. Only the 
large, well fed, and healthy insects are of value. 
The lean, such as have a frame merely, are of 
no moment for purposes of commerce, and com- 
mand a very small price. The best are such as 
have clear crimson and red bodies and legs, black 

86 TEXAS. 

and gray minutely mixed with a red and silvery- 
gray back. To a casual observer the female ap- 
pears to be fixed and torpid. The males fly in 
every direction from leaf to leaf, and in proportion 
to the females are as one to fifty or sixty. 

Some well regulated nopalades have, in addition 
to the tents above described, a nursery for such 
insects as are designed for propagating seed, to 
De transferred to other plants; it frequently hap- 
pening that the winds and rains of an equinoctial 
winter chill them so that they cease to cling to 
the leaf. This is done by selecting from the par- 
ent stock such leaves with insects on them, as the 
exuberance of the plant may afford, and hanging 
them up under roofs erected for the purpose, and 
agninstthe sides of buildings which are clean and 
have a projecting roof. These leaves afford nour- 
ishment for six to twelve months, during which 
period the insects may be collected as the season 
or convenience may require. 

The rich alluvions of Texas are covered with 
extensive cane-brakes, such as are common in the 
Western and Southern States, in low and marshy 
situations. They are frequently interspersed in 
the forests, forming a dense undergrowth, which 
renders a passage through them almost impossi- 
ble. They often occur however in brakes, of 
several leagues in extent, and entirely destitute 
of trees. The Great Prairie Cane-brake, extend- 
ing on both sides of Caney creek from within 

TEXAS. 87 

twelve miles of its mouth into the gulf to its 
source, is seventy-five miles in length, and from 
one to three miles wide, with scarcely a tree in 
its whole extent. They furnish inexhaustible re- 
sources of food to cattle and horses in winter, 
when the prairie yields but little or none, being 
at that time young and tender. These reeds are 
very slender and grow to the height of about 
twenty-five feet in a single season; being renew- 
ed every twelve month. They are unfailing indi- 
cations of a rich alluvial soil, and hence cane-land 
is most generally sought for and highly prized. 
The land is cleared by burning the dead reeds. If 
left upon the ground till dry they soon fall and 
perish. But if cut when green and preserved, they 
are very strong and durable, and are used, as every 
disciple of Isaac Walton in this country knows, 
for fishing-poles. 

Indigenous grapes grow luxuriantly throughout 
Texas, and are of the most exquisite flavor. The 
vines are attached to the forest trees, frequently 
enveloping them on every side, and forming the 
most beautiful natural arbors, pendant with clus- 
ters of the luscious grape, and protected from 
the sultry heat of the sun by a luxuriant and fra- 
grant foliage. Almost every variety of grape is 
native in Texas, from the large fox-grape down to 
what is called the chicken-grape; but are all of 
uniform sweetness, and produced in wonderful ex- 
uberance. They furnish considerable quantities 
of wine of the finest quality, not inferior to the 

55 TEXAS. 

French or Italian vintages. They will be exten- 
sively cultivated, being in great esteem and pre- 
senting the prospect of a lucrative business to 
the vintner. 

Among the underwood are found the bay lau- 
rei — the poet's own tree — the dogwood with its 
beautiful white flowers, the ilex, the papaw, com- 
mon in our Western States, the delightful magno- 
lia, the nutmeg tree, and the wild peach tree — an 
evergreen bearing a white blossom, and furnishing, 
in its fruit, which resembles a large black-heart 
cherry, a fine mast for hogs. 

Were we to offer even a nomenclature of the 
shrubbery and anthology of this country, we 
should exceed our limits. We therefore shall no- 
tice only a few of the most remarkable specimens 
in these departments of botany, and hasten to 
other branches of natural history. 

Among these the Yawpan or tea tree de- 
serves a special notice. Its leaf is very similar, 
in form and flavor, to that of the veritable Chinese 
shrub, and is dried and used as a substitute for the 
latter, by many of the inhabitants of Texas. It 
is not at all inferior to the black tea or bohea, used 
among us, in its quality. It is abundant and fur- 
nishes to the backwoodsman a very acceptable and 
cheap beverage, in lieu of the pure Chinese article, 
which is frequently not only costly but difficult to 
be obtained, especially at a distance from the more 
populous and commercial towns of the province- 
Indigo, superior to that cultivated in the South- 

TEXAS. 89 

em United States, grows wild, and in great abun- 
dance, as has been mentioned in a former chapter. 
The plant and fruit are both well known, and 
need not be described here. 

Cayenne pepper, called by the Mexicans Chile. 
grows exuberantly all over Texas, and is an arti- 
cle highly prized by the inhabitants, who make of 
it a common sauce to use with their food, and 
vast quantities are yearly consumed for this pur- 
pose. The Indians and Creoles are extremely 
fond of it, and no Mexican would willingly relin- 
quish his chile for almost any other luxury. 

Tobacco is indigenous, and is also cultivated to 
a considerable extent. Its value as an article of 
commerce has been heretofore adverted to, and it 
is a plant so well known as to need no description 

Blackberries of a very superior kind, dewber- 
ries, the May apple, and a great number of similar 
plants unnecessary to be recorded, are found in 
the utmost profusion. Excellent vegetables are 
furnished in great variety and excellence; and no 
region in America can boast among its botanical 
treasures, a richer abundance of valuable medici- 
nal herbs and roots. Every old woman, at least, 
knows how desirable such a natural pharmacopia 
is to a frontier family, far distant perhaps from the 
shops of the druggist and the physician, where 
every man, in time of sickness, becomes a "bo- 
tanical quack and steam doctor" and practices 
upon his own "patent," 

90 TEXAS. 

Among various other kinds of wild beans ex- 
tremely common, the celebrated Vanilla is found 
growing as a native vine; true, it is rarely met 
with, yet sufficient evidence is given, that it is 
adapted to the soil and climate, and is suscepti- 
ble of successful culture. The following descrip- 
tion of this delightful and highly valuable plant 
will not, we trust, be amiss here: 

Vanilla. — This curious and very rare vine is 
about the size of a quill — the stem green, glossy 
and smooth, the leaves project by pairs, from 
joints eight or ten inches apart. They are large, 
and thick as sheathing paper; succulent and brit- 
tle, and shaped like pear leaves. 

The vanilla is propagated by planting, or by in- 
serting it into the bark of some soft wood tree, 
always where it is shady and humid. It soon 
attaches itself to the surrounding branches, and in 
three years will overtop the highest trees, sus- 
pending from its extremity the fruit, which con- 
sists of pods resembling the common kidney bean- 
These pods can only be obtained by felling the 
tree which could not be climbed, or by an instru- 
ment attached to a long pole. 

To prepare it as an article of commerce — the 
greatest attention is required in curing and pack- 
ing the vanilla. Each pod must be separately 
bound round with thread, but slightly, that it may 
not warp and open. During the process of dry- 
ing, if not perfectly ripe, it changes its color from 
green to brown or nearly black, and exudes on 

TEXAS. 91 

handling it, an oil balsamic, and almost msuppor- 
tably fragrant. The greatest care must be taken 
to prevent the loss of this odour, for if it does not 
discharge sufficiently of its balm it will sour and 
corrupt, and if its emanations are too copious, its 
virtue is diminished. The art of curing therefore 
lies in avoiding excess eitner way; and when dry 
it must be packed so that it may arrive at a foreign 
market in proper order. To secure this point it 
is carefully wrapped up in leaves with honey, to 
keep a certain degree of moisture, in bundles of 
fifty, and put up in wooden boxes. Tin and sealed 
would be better. 

The pod of the vanilla contains thousands of 
small black seeds of the brilliancy of jet. 

This delicious plant is highly esteemed in med- 
icine — as a perfume — and in various culinary arts. 
Its rich qualities may be preserved in spirits of 
wine, which extracts its resinous substance. It 
is in this form that the luxurious in Mexico, 
Madrid, Paris and London, adapt it to a variety of 
uses; as, for instance, with chocolate, ices, jellies, 
and various sauces and confectionary. That 
which is perfect frequently commands double its 
weight of silver, in some of the European cities 
and those of Africa. Its price is from three to 
ten dollars per pound, but not one of a hundred 
pounds ever arrives in its pure quality. 

It is impossible to imagine the beauty of a 
Texas prairie when, in the vernal season, its rich 
luxuriant herbage, adorned with its thousand flow- 

92 TEXAS. 

ers of every size and hue, seems to realize the 
vision of a terrestial paradise. None but those 
who have seen, can form an adequate idea of its 
surpassing loveliness; and pen and pencil alike 
would fail in its delineation. The delicate, the 
gay and gaudy are intermingled with delightful 
confusion, and these fanciful bouquets of fairy Na- 
ture borrow tenfold charms when associated with 
the smooth verdant carpet of modest green which 
mantles around them. To say that admiration 
was excited in such a scene, would be but a faint 
transcript of the feelings. One feels that Omnipo- 
tence has consecrated here, in the bosom of Nature 
and under Heaven's wide canopy, a temple to re- 
ceive the praise and adoration of the grateful be- 
holder, and cold and reckless indeed must be that 
soul, from whose sensibilities no responsive homage 
could be elicited, by such an exhibition of the 
power and beneficence of the Creator. Methinks 
the veriest infidel would be constrained to bow 
and mingle in that worship, which, amid the pro- 
found but expressive stillness of the scene, crea- 
tion seems to pay. 

Many of our northern garden flowers and hot- 
house exotics bloom on the prairies spontaneously, 
in the utmost profusion and in wonderful variety. 
All the varieties of the genus stellaria, yellow, 
blue and purple, display their rich and gaudy tints 
in every direction. The splendid and fashion- 
able Dahlia, an exotic highly esteemed and care- 
fully reared in our hot-houses, is indigenous in 

TEXAS. 93 

this country. The great family of geraniums 
serve to adorn and perfume with their sweet fra- 
grance the mild meadows of Texas. Numerous 
varieties of digitalis are also found; different spe- 
cies of the lily here "waste their sweetness on the 
desert air," and the bignonia or trumpet flower 
and lobelia cardinalis are exceedingly common. 
The ground apple having a delicate flower, is abun- 
dant, and violets form a common carpeting every- 
where. The beautiful and much admired passion 
flower is frequent. The perpetual rose, multiflora, 
and other varieties of the rose, grow without any 
care paid to them, and many species are indige- 
nous. The primrose displays the mild beauty of 
its simple but chaste and elegant flower in almost 
every situation. The amateur florist can well ap- 
preciate the anthological riches which we have 
here spread before him, although presented, we 
confess, more in the order of a fancifully varie- 
gated nosegay, than in that of a scientifically clas- 
sified flora. He must pardon this irregularity, 
however, by virtue of our own premonition on 
the subject, while we conclude this hasty botanical 
sketch with a more extended notice of that beau- 
tiful and singular plant, the Mimosa — a plant 
which always has been, and ever will be, perhaps, 
a matter of curious interest and admiration to the 
natural historian and philosopher. 

This extraordinary plant is frequently found 
covering many acres in extent with its verdure. 
On the borders of rivers and brooks, the gentle 

94 TEXAS. 

slopes, which gradually ascend from the water's 
edge, are often entirely overgrown with the mimo- 
sa. It is very elastic to the tread; so much so, 
that, when the passenger has trampled over its 
drooping, apparently withered leaves, and looks 
back for the path which his rude footsteps have 
marked out, not a vestige of the invasion remains, 
but all is life and verdure again. On the approach 
of one, a singular phenomenon of their sensitive- 
ness is exhibited; not only those plants which are 
in actual contact with the person, droop and seem- 
ingly wither at the touch, but the sensation is 
communicated to those many feet in advance, 
which present the same appearance of shrinking 
delicacy as the former. The cause of this is evi- 
dently mechanical; and the extent of the impres- 
sion made upon their sensitive structure, depends 
upon the connexion of these plants, by means of 
their roots which are interwoven with each other, 
and through which the shock is communicated to a 
considerable distance around. The mimosa, in 
the prairies of Texas, bears a flower of a delicate 
pink colour, and much larger than that of our exotic 
plants in the North. 

Zoology. — Among the wild animals of Texas are 
several of the feline race ; some of which it would 
be dangerous for a traveller to encounter. The 
American panther and leopard were formerly fre- 
quent and formidable tenants of the forests; at pre- 
sent, however, they are rarely met with. Wild 
cats are still numerous; but are fast retiring before 



the march of the settler, and are indeed but little 
dreaded, being considered merely in the light of 
good wild game, for the pursuit of which hunting 
parties are formed, whose excursions are conduct- 
ed in the night, when the order of the hunt con- 
sists in "shining the eyes," as it is called. This 
is the general mode of hunting wild animals in this 
country, and is conducted in the following manner. 
The hunter carries with him a torch or fire-brand, 
whose light never fails to attract the attention of 
the game, from whose eyes it is so strongly reflect- 
ed, that they are seen to sparkle like balls of fire 
for a considerable distance. In the meantime, the 
fire is so disposed as to render the huntsman invisi- 
ble to the animal, the shining eyes of which afford 
a sure mark for a skilful shot, and he is thereby 
enabled to take his aim with the utmost delibera- 
tion. This practice is not peculiar to Texas as 
many an old hunter of Kentucky can testify. 

The black bear frequents the forests and cane- 
brakes, and is a favorite object of the hunt. Wolves 
abound and prove a great annoyance to the far- 
mers; carrying away pigs and sheep and even, 
when rendered desperate by hunger, will venture 
to attack, and often succeed in carrying off calves. 
The prairie wolf is common. This is a very small 
species of the wolf, very mischievous, but not so 
much to be feared as the large black wolf. 

The Pecari or Mexican hog is even yet occa- 
sionally met with, on the frontiers, in considerable 
gangs. They will boldly attack a man, and are 

96 TEXAS. 

considered more dangerous than any other wild 
animal in Texas. The pecari is of a greyish color, 
and the ordinary size of the domestic hog; its bris- 
tles stand erect. It is armed with tusks, several 
inches in length, which curl back from the under 
jaw, and its aspect altogether is very ferocious. 

The wild hog also is frequently met with, and, 
although it has never been known to make a volun- 
tary attack upon a man, yet, when provoked, it is 
a very furious and formidable animal. These hogs 
are descended from the domestic swine, and have 
become wild by running at large in the woods. 

All these animals, abovementioned, are now 
found in those parts of the country which are 
thinly settled, and very rarely below San Felipe. 
They are chiefly confined to the forests and brakes 
of the northwest, where, as yet, but few settlements 
have been formed, and which is seldom visited ex- 
cept by hunters and roving tribes of Indians. 

Wild horses or mustangs, originally introduc- 
ed by the Spaniards, now roam at large, and are 
exceedingly numerous in the northern prairies and 
the western sections of Texas. Many of them 
are animals of fine figure and spirit, but are gene- 
rally inferior to the blooded horses of the United 
States. The exceptions to this remark, however, 
are very numerous; and a very large number are 
to be found which, for form and fleetness, are not 
to be surpassed any where. " If fine, delicate 
heads," remarks a writer on the subject of the 
wild horse, "wide nostrils—slim, and tapering, and 



clean limbs — small and hard hoofs — and an Ara- 
bian symmetry of form, will make a fine horse, 
there are fine horses in abundance on the prairie/" 
The wild horses so frequently brought to the mar- 
kets of the United States are, indeed, but poor 
specimens of the Texan mustang; and this is easi- 
ly accounted for from the fact, that they are all 
caught by the use of the lazo, and, consequently, 
in the chase of a herd, those which are the most 
inferior are invariably caught, while the more no- 
ble animals generally escape. The mode of catch- 
ing a horse also frequently injures him for life. 
The hunter, in this business, is supplied with a long 
pole, with a strong noose attached to it; or, some- 
times, merely with a noosed cord made of twisted 
strips of raw hide, called a lazo. When a herd 
appears, the hunters take their stations on every 
side of them, and commence the chase; mounted 
upon fleet animals, they soon overtake and noose 
some of them. As soon as the lazo is thrown over 
the head of the horse, it is drawn so tight as almost 
to suffocate, and the animal is immediately thrown 
to the ground, deprived almost entirely of motion, 
and sometimes of life. He is then immediately 
blindfolded and mounted by a rider, with heavy 
spurs, and large barbarous bits, and run at the top 
of his speed, until he falls down through exhaus- 
tion. This brutal process, is repeated until the 
animal is thoroughly broke and rendered docile. 
He always afterwards stands in dread of the lazo, 
and, wheuever he becomes refractory, can be in> 

98 TEXAS. 

mediately tamed by the use, and often by the mere 
exhibition of this dreadful noose. They are taken 
to market, after being caught, and sold for a trifling 
sum — commonly at three or four dollars a piece, 
to the home purchaser. The finer animals are 
sold, however, much higher than this, and have 
been known often to bring several hundred or a 
thousand dollars readily. They are often caught 
in another mode than those mentioned. A party 
of hunters, finding a small drove, instantly sur- 
round them, and drive them thus into pens con- 
structed for the purpose. When taken young, un- 
der four years of age, they are easily subdued and 
domesticated. This mode is much preferable. U 
prevents the injury to which the mustangs caught 
by the lazo are liable, and which they always more 
or less experience. The older ones however can- 
not be so well tamed as by the use of the noose. 
They are of all colors — -are hardy and active — 
and better adapted to the saddle than the harness. 
They are sometimes of good size, but are gene- 
rally about thirteen hands high. 

Mingled with the herds of mustangs are often 
found jacks, jennies, and mules. Good jacks 
bring about twenty dollars in the home market, 
and mules from two to five. The rearing of these 
animals has proved heretofore a very lucrative 
business, and, in time to come, will be much more 
go. The expense of raising them is a trifle— the 
vast natural pastures affording inexhaustible sup- 
plies for this purpose. 

TEXAS. 99 

The buffalo — commonly so called, but termed 
by naturalists the bison — is found in Texas aston- 
ishingly gregarious. Thousands and tens of thou- 
sands in a drove have been seen in the interior 
regions, roving over the prairies, whose luxuriant 
herbage furnish them with the means of subsis- 
tence. They are seldom seen near the sea coast, 
but descend in large herds from Arkansas and 
Missouri, and furnish the principal sustenance of 
the Indians in the interior of Texas. They are 
much esteemed and hunted for both their flesh 
and hides. Their beef is highly regarded by all 
those who have partaken of it; and buffalo robes 
are in great demand, at good prices, all over the 
United States. 

The deer are still more numerous than the buf- 
falo, being found in every part of Texas in great 
abundance. Not only are the forests and desert 
prairies stocked with them, but even in the settle- 
ments, they are so plentiful and tame, that they 
often come upon the plantations of formers, and 
feed in company with the cattle. Venison, hence, 
is a common dish upon the table of the inhabitants, 
and can be procured for a low price at any time. 
Deer-skins never fail to find a ready and profita- 
ble market. The moose is also found, but is con- 
fined to the frontier or far west. 

The fox-hunter could find constant employment 
in this country, where Reynard peeps from every 
bush and brake. Raccoons, opossums, rabbits, 
and squirrels, in great abundance, and a great 

100 TEXAS. 

variety of similar small animals, serve to stock the 
forests of Texas with game. 

Ornithology. — We shall content ourselves, in 
this department, with merely enumerating the 
principal specimens of the feathered tribe in Texas / 
with but few accompanying remarks. They are, 
mostly, such as are well known in the United 
States, and therefore need no description. 

The bald-headed eagle, and Mexican eagle, 
which is among the smallest of the aquiline tribe — 
the vulture — various species of hawks and owls, 
are among the birds of prey, and are very 

Cranes — whooping, white, and blue ditto — Bee 
Rouge, a species of crane with a beautiful red 
crest — swans — pelicans — king-fishers and water- 
turkies, are all aquatic birds of prey, and are found 
in great abundance. 

Large and almost innumerable flocks of wild 
^eese and turkies — brants — teal — canvass-back, 
and summer duck — and other water fowl, frequent 
the rivers and sea shore; and are so plentiful, 
that one can always furnish himself with as 
many of these birds as he may want, by visiting 
their haunts, where a single shot will often pro- 
vide a meal for twenty persons 

Partridges — quails — pheasants — prairie hens — 
pigeons and turtle doves, are very plentiful. 
Snipes — plovers — and robins are small, but consid- 
ered as good game by the fowler in catering for 
his table. Ortolans, which form so celebrated a 
dish in Europe, are abundant in Texas. 

TEXAS. 101 

Crows — red-winged black birds — starlings -blue 
jay — different species of the woodpecker — red- 
birds, martins — swallows and wrens abound. 
The beautiful paroquet — the oriole — the whip- 
poorwill — and the sweet-toned mocking bird en- 
liven the woods with the beauty of plumage 
and melody of voice which belong to them. 
These are but a few specimens of the ornithology 
of Texas; but they are sufficient to prove, that 
nature has not denied her a less bountiful provi- 
sion, in this department of natural history, than in 
those before mentioned. 

Icthyology. — The rivers and bays of Texas 
abound in fish of an excellent quality, of great 
variety, and some of them of peculiar character. 

Redfish bar in Galveston bay, takes its name 
from the number of red fish which are there found. 
This fish is very delicious and weighs often fifty 
pounds. Yellow, white, and blue catfish are fur- 
nished commonly by the rivers and streams in this 
country. The following are some of the species 
of fish as they are named by the inhabitants, viz: 
perch, buffalo, sheeps-head, mullet, pike, trout, 
flounders, suckers, and other fish common in Amer- 
can waters. The gar is a worthless fish with a 
snout of immense length. The alligator gar is very 
large, attaining sometimes several yards in length; 
its back is covered with scales, and it is very simi- 
lar to the alligator in appearance; and, when first 
seen in the water, would be mistaken for one. 
Eels are also found in the fresh-water streams of 

102 TEXAS. 

the country; the black lamprey eel is much es- 
teemed by those who have eaten of it. 

Erpetology. — In the class of reptiles, which un- 
fortunately is rather large, the only useful and val- 
uable species found here, is the tortoise. Both 
hard and soft shell turtle are numerous in all the 
rivers and bayous, especially near their mouths. 

Lizards, scorpions, and that singular and beau- 
tiful animal, the chameleon, are to be found every 

All the rivers and bayous are infested with alliga- 
tors, which follow the boats so closely that they 
can be struck with the oars. These creatures, on 
land, are lazy and harmless, and not ferocious, de- 
vouring animals, like the Egyptian crocodiles. 
You must tread on them as they lie basking in the 
sun, before they will move, and then, they slowly 
drag their clumsy length along, They are from 
twenty to thirty feet in length, and are covered 
with a coat of scales which, on the back, form an 
armor impenetrable to a rifle ball. They will lie 
for hours, during a sunny day, in low marshy 
spots on the borders of streams, motionless as logs, 
and, at such times, are hard to be moved; they 
will neither go out of their way to attack, or 
to avoid the approach of a man. 

No new country has ever been less troubled with 
serpents than this. Yet that there are snakes of 
a poisonous kind frequently met with is true; and 
there are some whose bite would be inevitably fa- 
tal, were it not that ready antidotes are always 
plentiful and at hand. 

TEXAS. 103 

The rattlesnake, which is the most venomous of 
all serpents, grows to an immense size, ancTmany 
of them possess fangs half an inch long. Horses 
and cattle are frequently killed by their bite; but 
men, never — if proper means are taken. The 
remedy used by the Indians to extract the poison, 
when bitten, is simple, ready at hand, and said to 
be effective. They kill the snake immediately, 
taking care at the same time that he does not bito 
himself; they then cut off his tail, and apply the 
fleshy part to the bite; after holding it an instant to 
the wound, they remove it and cut off another 
piece of the snake, about an inch long, and apply 
it; this is repeated until the whole snake is used 
up. The poison having a greater affinity for the 
flesh of the serpent, than for that of the man, is 
soon extracted, and the wound becomes perfectly 
harmless. A root called rattlesnake's master 
grows abundantly in the pine woods, and is said to 
be an efficient remedy. The deer is a very pow- 
erful enemy of this snake, stamping him to death 
with his hoofs, whenever he comes across him; 
hogs also will kill and devour them with great 
greediness, not being in the least effected by their 
poison. They are not apt to bite unless provoked, 
and invariably give warning of their approach by 
shaking their rattles with which they are furnished, 
one being added every year. Besides the large 
serpent here described, there is another called the 
ground rattlesnake, equally if not more venomous 
in its bite, which, however, is cured by the same 

104 TEXAS. 

remedies as that of the former. They are said 
never to have more than two rattles and a but- 
ton — are of a drab color — and about a foot long. 
Land and water moccasin, coach whip, and cop- 
per heads are the only venomous snakes, besides 
the rattlers found in Texas. Of others are the 
chicken-snake — very fond of poultry as its name 
denotes, of a beautiful color, mottled, with yellow 
and black — the garter snake, and many others, 
all entirely harmless. 

Beside the frogs and toads common every where 
almost, is another interesting little animal, em- 
braced under the same name, called the "horned 
frog," though, it is probable, it belongs rather to 
the lizard than the frog family. It is an inhabitant 
of the prairies, and consequently, being at such a 
distance from water, not amphibious. It is long — 
like a lizard — of a graceful form — has a tail and 
legs — and never leaps in running, but moves very 
swiftly. It is of a yellowish mottled color, and 
has horns projecting about half an inch from the 
front of the head. 

Entomology, — Under this title we shall, for con- 
veniency's sake, include not only the class of in- 
sects, but also, the classes Crustacea and mollusca, 
though hot strictly speaking belonging to it. They 
are indeed, though forming distinct classes in natu- 
ral history, nearly allied; sufficiently so, at least, 
to permit their association in our present article. 

Beetles — grasshoppers — butterflies — fireflies — 
ants — wasps — musquetoes — spiders — and a great 

TEXAS 105 

variety of others, belonging to the same specie? 
and orders with these, are found here; we shall 
however notice but a very few of them particu- 

Musquetoes are a great annoyance in the 
swamps, woods, and river bottoms; but, on the 
uplands, are not so numerous. In the former sit- 
uations, no one would think of sleeping without a 
musqueto bar; while, on the latter, they are often 
entirely superfluous at all seasons. There is a 
species of animalcule called the red«-bug, which is 
intolerably tormenting in the woods. Great num- 
bers of this insect will settle upon the skin, which 
they perforate, and commence sucking the blood 
until they are so filled, that, from at first being im- 
perceptible, they are at length plainly visible un- 
der the appearance of red specks upon the skin. 
The sand fly and ticks are also very annoying in 
their attentions. The traveller is frequently blind- 
ed by the former getting into his eyes, and has his 
skin almost literally nipped to pieces by the latter. 
These ticks are furnished with a proboscis or trunk 
greatly disproportionate to the rest of the body; 
and so closely do they stick, and so industriously 
do they perform their part, that, in one night's 
time, if not carefully guarded against, they will 
spoil the beauty of the fairest face in creation, 
beyond the redemption of all cosmetics for days 
to come. 

The horse fly, it is said, has frequently been 
known to kill horses; at any rate, it is a most ma- 

106 TEXAS. 

licious and troublesome insect; the gadfly is, also, 
a dreadful tormenter of the cattle in summer. 
The common housefly, the gnat, and others, of 
like species and of equal attachment to poor suf- 
fering humanity, are the constant and close com- 
panions of a summer's day in Texas. At that 
season a happy deliverance from such plagues 
would form the most desirable item, as far as crea- 
ture comfort is concerned in a Texan's litany. 

The cantharides or Spanish flies, such as are 
used for blistering and sold by druggists for that 
purpose, are common flies in Texas. The forests 
of Texas are visited by numerous swarms of bees, 
which deposit their luscious stores in their hollow 
trees, and thus give rise to a profitable branch of 
trade in which many individuals are employed, 
viz: the sale of honey and wax, which are and will 
be important items of commerce. It is a very cu- 
rious fact in the natural history of the bee, that it 
is never found in a wild country, but always pre- 
cedes civilization, forming a kind of advance guard 
between the white man and the savage. The In- 
dians, at least, are perfectly convinced of the 
truth of this fact, for it is a common remark among 
them, when they observe these happy and indus- 
trious insects, "there come the white men!" 

Of all the insects of Texas, the most disgusting 
and venomous creature is that species of spider 
called the tarantula. It grows enormously large — 
measuring, when expanded, five and six inches — 
and some say that is is even much larger than 

TEXAS. 107 

this. Its bite is considered more fatal than that of 
the rattlesnake, and is declared by many and gen- 
erally believed to be without a remedy. It is, at 
any rate, a most malignant and disgusting insect. 

Of crustaceous animals, the crab — crayfish — 
shrimp — and stingaree, a species of horsefoot, 
are the principal. The latter is furnished with 
a hard and pointed member, protruding some 
inches, as is the case with the horsefoot, and 
which is called a sting by many, who assert that 
a wound made by it is envenomed and fatal. 

Of the testaceous animals or shell fish, the most 
prominent are the oyster — clam — muscle — and 
land-snail, beside the great variety of marine ani- 
mals, such as star-fish, sun-fish, a species of nauti- 
lus, and others, which do not properly belong to 
the natural history of Texas. 

Beds of oysters line the coast, and nearly all 
the inlets along it; and are in such abundance 
about Oyster bayou, as to have given name to 
that creek. They are large and well flavored; 
and are said to be equally as good as those obtained 
in our Atlantic cities. 


Towns — Villages and Settlements. 

In a country so recently settled as Texas one 
must not look for large and populous towns and 
cities. There is indeed a town-making mania; but 
the energies and resources of the settlers are not 
equal to their wishes. Every man who purchases 
a large plantation, possessing a good site for the 
location of a town, immediately lays out one. 
Hence, a vast number of nominal towns are, in 
reality, not even villages; sometimes containing 
not more than a dwelling or two, with a black- 
smith shop and a mill, and their greatness being 
altogether prospective. The most populous set- 
tlements, even, are as yet small places, which is 
necessarily the case, since the whole vast region 
of Texas does not ecu-am, within its wide bor- 
ders, more than fifty thousand souls. 

San Felipe de Austin was founded in 1824 by 
Gen. Austin and the commissioner, Baron de Bas- 
trop. It is the capital of Austin's colony, and sit- 
uated on the right bank of the Brazos river^ eighty 
miles from the gulf by land, and one hundred and 
eighty by the meanders of the river, at the head of 
boat navigation. The site of this town is exceeding- 

110 TEXAS. 

ly beautiful. It is a high prairie bluff which strikes 
the river, at the upper or northern limit of the 
level region, about forty feet above the level of 
the stream: an elevation which is unusual in this 
section. It is the residence of Gen. Austin. The 
State and municipal officers of the jurisdiction 
hold their offices here ; and this was the capital de- 
signated for Texas, when its separation from Co- 
ahuila and its reception as an independent State 
of the Mexican confederacy, should take place. 
Here, likewise, all the land and judicial business 
of the colony is transacted. It contains several 
stores, and presents altogether the appearance of a 
busy and pleasant little village. 

Brazoria is thirty miles from the mouth of the 
Brazos by the meanders of the river, and fifteen 
by land. It is not located in a prairie, where 
nothing was to be done to prepare the foundation 
of the rising city, but to mark off its lines with 
compass and chain; but upon a wooded elevation 
of peach land, as it is called. This spot was 
chosen as the most commanding and healthful, be- 
sides combining other advantages. It has there- 
fore to dispute empire with the lords of the forest. 
One street stretches along the banks of the Bra- 
zos, and there is one parallel with it further back, 
while other streets are laid out to intersect these 
at right angles. 

In 1831, Brazoria gave promise of being a large 
and populous town. From several causes, how- 
ever, it has not fulfilled the expectations of its 


sanguine inhabitants. In 1833, that scourge, the 
cholera, took off some of its most enterprising pop- 
ulation, and since that time other towns have 
sprung up to direct the channel of trade. Colum- 
bia, one mile and a half back from Bell's landing 
was made the seat of the new courts, thereby 
drawing off the lawyers and others from Brazoria. 
It was found however to be a bad arrangement, 
and they are now returned to their first location. 
A regular mail route is established between it and 
San Felipe, once a week. 

Brazoria, besides being well situated, will always 
be important as the first stopping place for emi- 
grants. To them it is no inconvenience that va- 
cant houses can sometimes be obtained. Here 
may be found those necessaries which the newly 
arrived, and those wishing to penetrate into the 
interior, have need of. Such persons having heard 
of Brazoria as a considerable place, will feel dis- 
appointment at the sight of it. It contained, in 
1831, fifty families, and now, 1836, it has not many 
more, though it numbers more houses. Nor have 
any of the then existing towns in Texas increased 
much. Most people, mechanics and all, choose to 
settle on their own estates, or are attracted by 
some boasted advantage to; some new settlement. 
It is however looking up; business is increasing, 
and its favorable situation, being easy of access 
and convenient to the sea, combined with other 
advantages, will inevitably render it one of the 
most important towns in Texas. 

112 TEXAS. 

Nacogdoches. — The old Spanish military post 
and village of Nacogdoches, is situated in the 
eastern section of Texas, in latitude 31° 40', sixty 
miles west of the Sabine river. In 1819 or 1820, 
it was totally broken up by the revolution and 
abandoned. Its inhabitants were driven away 
by the Spanish troops and compelled to seek a 
refuge in Louisiana, near Nachitoches, exiles from 
their native country and dependent, in most in- 
stances, on the hospitality of strangers.. 

Nacogdoches remained without population un- 
til the year 1 822-3, when many of the emigrants 
who left the United States with the view of join- 
ing Austin's colony, stopped at this place. A num- 
ber of the ancient inhabitants, also, returned to 
their former possessions, and thus the town has 
been gradually repeopled and is now a respecta- 
ble village. A garrison of Mexican troops, before 
the late war for independence, was stationed here 
under the command of a colonel of the army* 
There is, also, a custom house establishment, for 
the collection of duties on the inland trade from 
Louisiana. The country on the road between 
this place and the Sabine, is thinly settled by emi- 
grants from the United States. This place is the 
great thoroughfare of emigrants to Texas. 

San Antonio de Bexar. — The ancient town of 
Bexar is situated in the western part of the undu- 
lating region on the San Antonio river, which 
flows through it, and is remarkably pleasant and 
healthy. This place is in latitude 29° 25', one 



hundred and forty miles from the coast, and con- 
tains two thousand five hundred inhabitants, all 
native Mexicans, with the exception of a very few 
American families who have settled there. A mil- 
itary outpost was established at this spot by the 
Spanish government in 1718. In the year 1731, 
the town was settled by emigrants sent out from 
the Canary Islands by the king of Spain. It be- 
came a flourishing settlement, and so continued 
till the revolution in 1812. Since which period 
the Comanche and other Indians have greatly 
harassed the inhabitants, producing much indi- 
vidual suffering, and totally destroying for a sea- 
son, at least, the prosperity of the town. It is the 
capital of the province, and has been rendered a 
place of considerable notice, as the seat of the 
late war, and by the surrender of Cos, to the pa- 
triot army of Texas under Gen. Burleson, on the 
1 1 th of December, 1 835 : by the conquest of which 
not a Mexican soldier in arms was left in the 
State of Texas. 

Columbia, on the league of Mr. Bell, is a place 
of considerable business, and was, for a while, the 
seat of justice. It contains a hotel kept by Bell, 
new and spacious — the largest building there. 
There is besides a building , or two, constructed 
while it was the seat of the courts, for a court 
house, and offices, &c. and a few dwelling houses. 
This town is on the edge of the prairie, and the 
scenery about it is pretty. A broad road through 
timber is cut to the landing, which is very muddy 

114 TEXAS. 

in wet weather. It was thought by many that 
this place was not so convenient for the court as 
Brazoria, which was formerly the seat of justice, 
and it was accordingly again removed thither. 
Columbia is more central than Brazona, but has 
less accommodation, and is too fai from the river 
for convenience. 

Marion, or BeWs Landing, two miles distant 
from Columbia, since 1831, has had an increase of 
a number of dwelling houses, and several large 
warehouses, one of which was built by an exten- 
sive dealer in cotton, many bales of which 1 have 
observed in going up the river, lying on the shore 
ready to be shipped. Some of the line trees have 
been cut away, and in some places the banks have 
caved in, which with the business-like air of the 
place, have destroyed much of the picturesque 
effects observed on my former visit. 

Anahuac, — This was formerly a military post 
town established by order of Gen. Teran, on the 
northeast corner of Galveston Bay, opposite the 
mouths of the Trinity river in Vehlein's grant. Its 
situation is very pleasant, on the borders of a prai- 
rie, at an elevation of thirty feet above the waters 
of the bay which is spread before it. This town 
was at first known by the name of Perry's Point, 
until the ancient title of the city of Mexico was 
bestowed upon it, at the time it was occupied by 
a Mexican garrison of about an hundred soldiers 
under the command of Col. Bradburn. It con- 
tains about thirty houses besides the building 

TEXAS. 115 

erected as barracks for the soldiery. This is about 
one hundred and fifty feet long and twenty wide, 
with the colonel's quarters at one end, and the 
guard house on the other. 

Goliad. — This village formerly called La Bahia 
is situated on the right bank of the San Antonio 
river, about one hundred and ten miles southeast 
of Bexar, and thirty miles from the coast. It con- 
tains about eight hundred inhabitants, all Mexicans. 
It was garrisoned by Mexican troops, and was one 
of the first places signalized by a triumph of the 
Texan arms in their struggle for liberty. 

San Patrick— This is an Irish colony situated 
in McMullen's and McGloin's grant, on the right 
bank of the Nueces. A number of Irish families 
have settled here, and many others will probably 
find an asylum, with the certain prospect of plenty 
and independence. The settlement of Irish colo- 
nies in this grant is the great object of the Em- 
presarios who are, themselves, "exiles of Erin." 
The Mexican garrison at this place surrendered 
to the patriots on the 3d of October, 1835. 

Gonzales — the capital of DeWitt's colony, is 
built on the left bank of the Guadalupe river, at 
the point where the direct road from San Felipe 
de Austin intersects that river. The site of the 
town is elevated, pleasant, and healthful, and pos- 
sesses many natural advantages. It contains about 
three hundred inhabitants; and is distinguished 
as being the opening scene of the late war, where 

116 TEXAS. 

the first blow was struck against the despot Santa 
Anna and Centralism — the Lexington of Texas. 

Bastrop or Mina, lies on the left bank of the 
Colorado, at the intersection of the road leading 
from Bexar to Nacogdoches with the river. It 
was laid out in 1830 by the Empresario, General 
Austin, in his contract of 1827, and is already a 
considerable place, and continues to grow rapidly. 
It is a favorite spot for new settlers, and is quite 
the rage at present; no sickness of any kind hav- 
ing ever been known there. It is situated on a 
bend of the river, sloping beautifully down to the 
water, with ranges of timber — first oak, then pine, 
then cedar, rising in regular succession behind it. 

Bolivar is at the head of tide water on the Bra- 
zos, sixty miles from the river's mouth by water 
and forty-five by land. It is an important point, 
as any vessel that can pass the bar can ascend to 
this place in the lowest stage of water, but not 
farther. The road via Bolivar to San Felipe is 
fifteen miles nearer than the road from Brazoria 
to San Felipe direct, and is much better. The 
distance from Bolivar to the navigable waters of 
Galveston bay, is but fifteen miles over a high, 
dry prairie, with the exception of six miles through 
timber land, where the road is good. The land 
in and about Bolivar is the best in the colony; 
clothed with heavy timber, with peach and cane 
undergrowth, to the distance of six miles from the 
river. The bank of the river in front of the town, 
is a high bluff of stiff red clay. About fifty acres 
are cleared and under cultivation. 

TEXAS. 117 

Bolivar, though selected as an advantageous lo- 
cation for a commercial town, and laid oft* for that 
purpose before Brazoria, is as yet a town only in 
name. Its location, for purposes of trade as well 
as on account of the fertility of the adjacent 
country, has doubtless many advantages. But it 
was neglected for that which was regarded, upon 
the whole, as a more eligible position, on account 
of its easier access from the sea. At some future 
day however it will, in all probability, become one 
of the most flourishing emporiums in Texas. We 
are warranted in this belief by the fact, that it is, 
even now, the great point for the embarkation of 
cotton, from the rich plantations which every 
where surround it. There is not a wealthier or 
better settled district in the colony, than that 
which surrounds Bolivar, in the raising and sale of 
cotton, particularly. It possesses, likewise, all 
the other advantages, which one of the best posi- 
tions on a large and commercial river can bestow. 

Cox's Point. — The new town at Cox's Point 
will eventually rival Matamoras, inasmuch as it 
has a better harbor, and is equally near to all the 
great mining districts. The facility of getting 
goods to the interior is at this time greater; and it 
is preferred as a market by almost all the interior 
traders. There are already heavy capitalists lo- 
cated there, and one conducta has arrived from 
Chihuahua with three hundred thousand dollars. 
It is situated at the mouth of the La Baca, and 
contains about two hundred inhabitants, 

118 TEXAS. 

Matagorda is an older and a larger town than 
its rival Cox's Point, at the mouth of the Colorado. 
It contains five hundred inhabitants and is a place 
of great business, trading with the interior and 
New Orleans. Before the existence of the settle- 
ment at Cox's Point, it was the only place of de- 
pot of the Colorado river, and of an extensive fer- 
tile country which found its natural market at this 

Washington is situated on the Brazos, in one of 
its bends, about fifty miles above San Felipe, and 
on the San Antonio road. It is quite a new town, 
but is increasing very rapidly, and already num- 
bers fifty houses. It was designated by the Pro- 
visional Government as the future seat of govern- 
ment in Texas; and the sessions of the conven- 
tion were removed there, in March of the present 
year. It is pleasantly and healthfully situated; and, 
with the numerous advantages which it enjoys, 
cannot fail to become an important point in Texas. 

San Augustine is beautifully situated on the 
verge of a prairie, forty-five or fifty miles east of 
Nacogdoches, on a branch of the Angelina, in Za- 
vala's grant. It is on the direct road from Nach- 
itoches; and is the first town that the traveller 
meets, within the limits of Texas, in going from 
the United States. It is a prosperous place, 
though new; and is about the size of the capital, 

New Washington. — This is as yet a small place, 
laid out a short time since by Col, Morgan, a resi- 

TEXAS. 119 

dent and associated with a New York company. 
It is at the mouth of the San Jacinto river, at the 
head of Galveston bay, in Austin's colony. Sev- 
eral well laden vessels have already gone there; 
and it promises to be a place of great commercial 
importance. A large warehouse and a hotel for 
accommodation of visiters are now being built 
there. It is generally known by the name of Chop- 
per's point, and probably this will continue to be 
its common appellation, on account of there being 
another town of the same name — Washington, the 
capital of the State. 

Cole's Settlement* — This place is situated in a 
rich and romantic country, and is a prosperous 
and populous neighborhood. It lies near the Bra- 
zos above San Felipe, is increasing fast, and is 
especially noted for a young ladies school, kept 
there by Miss Trask. 

Orozembo and Montezuma are located on the 
Brazos river, opposite to Bolivar. They are as 
yet but "castles in the air," and were laid out on 
two contiguous leagues of land, by their respective 
proprietors. The situation of both of these rival 
towns is pleasant, and favorable for trade. Which 
of them, however, is to be the most flourishing, 
or whether both of them will be entirely aban- 
doned for some other more advantageous and pop- 
ular position — are questions which require more 
of the prophetic "unction" than we possess, to 
answer definitely. 

12-0 TEXAS. 

Fort Settlement on the Brazos, a little higher up 
than the two last mentioned, contains a conside- 
rable population. It is not a thickly settled vil- 
lage, but a section of country containing many 
farms: such as we would call, in this country, a 
well settled neighborhood. 

Harrisburgh. — This town has its name from 
Mr. Harris, the owner of a steam saw-mill at this 
place. There are now extensive steam saw-mills 
here, belonging to the Harrisburgh Saw Mill Com- 
pany; and large quantities of lumber are con- 
stantly made and disposed of. Vessels are fre- 
quently loaded at these mills with lumber, destin- 
ed for the Mexican ports of the Gulf, and any 
quantity may be sold, at good prices, either for 
domestic or foreign consumption. The timber, 
consisting of yellow pine and oak, is abundant. 
The mills are on Buffalo Bayou about thirty miles 
from the Brazos river, and are accessible to ves- 
sels drawing five or six feet water. The price of 
lumber is at present twenty-five dollars per thou- 
sand feet. The town is irregulary built and con- 
tains only about twenty houses, mostly log, with 
two or three frame buildings. The situation is, 
probably? rather unhealthy, and the importance of 
the village can be sustained only by its valuable 
mills, which furnish more lumber, probably, than all 
the others in Texas. 

Tenoxticlan is a military post and town estab- 
lished on the right bank of the Brazos, twelve 
miles above the upper road leading from Bexar to 

TEXAS. 121 

Nacogdoches, fifteen miles below the mouth of 
San Ardress river, and one hundred miles above 
San Felipe de Austin. It is very eligibly situated 
and abundantly supplied with excellent water. It 
was the intention of government to keep a garri- 
son at this place, for the twofold purpose of pro- 
tecting the frontier of Austin's colony from the 
predatory incursions of Indians, and of facilitating 
the extension of that colony, northwesterly, up 
to the Brazos river. The adjacent country for 
many miles around, is fertile and healthful, and the 
Brazos in seasons of freshets, is navigable some 
miles above this port. 

Galveston is situated on the bay of that name in 
Vehlein's grant, and, as a commercial town, pos- 
sesses one of the best locations on the Gulf* In- 
deed Galveston as a harbor is said to be much su- 
perior to any other on the Gulf between Pensacola 
and Vera Cruz; and her vicinity to the West Indies, 
the United States, and the Mexican ports, with 
the Gulf stream, the great river of the ocean, at 
hand to sweep her vessels, with its mighty and 
rapid current, to the eastern Atlantic, renders her 
position for foreign commerce highly felicitous* 

Velasco, a small town at the mouth of the Bra- 
zos river in Austin's colony, is celebrated for its salt 
works which are very notable. It is a small town 
but is well situated, and is in a flourishing state. 
A collector of customs resides here. 

Velasco is the resort, in summer, of great num- 
bers of visiters from the north of the colony, who 

122 TEXAS. 

come to enjoy the delightful sea-breezes, sea 
bathing, and the comforts with which they are 
every where surrounded. Excellent accommo- 
dations can always be obtained at boarding houses, 
which, among other attractions, are always furnish- 
ed with supplies of oysters and fish of the first 
quality. Musqutoe bars are not often needed here, 
and, altogether, it is one of the most delightful 
places in the country. A Mexican garrison was 
formerly stationed at Velasco; at present, it is a 
rendezvous of the patriot troops. 

Quintana is a town in embryo, containing a 
proprietor's house belonging to Mr. McKinney, 
and a large warehouse ; but " farther the deponent 
saith not." It is situated on the Brazos opposite 
to Veiasco. 

Powhatan has been just laid out by Dr. Archer 
and Mr. Williams, at the mouth of Dickson's 
creek, on the western shore of Galveston bay. It 
possesses a first rate harbor. 

Tuscasito, in the vicinity of Anahuac, instead 
of being a town or even a village, is a mere stop- 
ping place on the way to San Antonio with a sin- 
gle house and a blacksmith's shop. It is situated 
in a dreary and barren country, with scarce a 
sign of vegetation around it. The view from this 
place looking out upon the bay is very fine. The 
spot is important to travellers, who will receive 
good accommodation from the proprietor, Mr. 

Victoria, named after the patriot Guadalupe 
Victoria, is situated on the east side of the 

TEXAS. 123 

Guadalupe, in DeLeon's grant, at the intersection 
of the road leading from San Felipe to Goliad with 
that river, and about twenty miles from the mouth 
of the La Baca. It is a small village, and its pop- 
ulation is chiefly Mexican. 

Aransaso and Copano are both located on Aran- 
saso bay, in Power's grant, and are inconsiderable 
places at present. They are however favorably 
situated, and their future prospects are good. The 
region around them is one of the most valuable 
portions of Texas, and the bay is much deeper 
than either Galveston or Matagorda, and is the 
principal harbor for vessels, whose cargoes are 
destined for Goliad or Bexar, and for the Irish 
colonies of the Nueces. Aransaso was formerly 
a Mexican garrison-town, and Copans was the 
winter-quarters, this past season, of a part of the 
volunteer troops in the cause of Texas. 

Liberty, — This is a small place on the east bank 
of the Trinidad river, in Vehlein's grant, at the 
intersection of that river by the road leading to 
San Felipe. It is a point in the weekly mail route, 
established between San Felipe and Belew's Ferry 
on the Sabine river. It is the capital of a juris- 
diction, and its citizens have taken an active part 
in the war of Independence., 

Lynchburg is a new town at the mouth of the 
San Jacinto and Buffalo Bayou, at the head of 
Galveston bay; it is a point in the eastern mail 
route from San Felipe. 

Houston, in compliment to the General who so 
nobly volunteered in the Texan cause, has recent- 

124 TEXAS. 

ly been laid out on the east side of the Trinity 
river, forty miles north of the San Antonio road 
It contains between three and four hundred build- 
ing lots and a large quantity of out land. The 
situation is said to be handsome, salubrious, and 
well watered; surrounded by fertile, well timber- 
ed land, and is about six miles distant from a good 
steamboat landing on the Trinity. The town is 
intended to be on the roads leading from Nacog- 
doches and Pecan Point, to the falls of the Brazos. 
Within a few miles of it there are two large and 
good salines. 

BeviVs Settlement is situated on the Sabine, and 
forms one of the jurisdictions of the department 
of Nacogdoches. A mail arrives here weekly by 
the way of Zavala — a small place on the Neches 
river in Zavala's grant — from San Augustin. It is 
a populous neighborhood, but cannot be called a 
town. Bevii's Mill is the point embraced in the 
mail route. 

We have thus enumerated the principal towns 
and settlements in Texas, embracing all, we be- 
lieve, which are worthy of notice; and perhaps 
the reader will think, that many of those which 
we have mentioned might have been spared. 
They were presented however in order to give 
something like an accurate idea of the state and 
seat of settlements in this country ; and had we 
confined ourselves to towns — properly so called — 
populous and flourishing, our sketch would have 
extended to but a few lines, and our purpose 

TEXAS. 125 

would not have been accomplished. Population 
is, as yet, sparse, widely scattered, and of a very 
roving character; and, consequently, even the fu- 
ture destinies of towns, notwithstanding all their 
advantages, are involved in much doubt, except a 
few places combining such natural and artificial 
facilities, as will necessarily ensure their prosperi- 
ty. These have been noticed in the above sche- 
dule, and the advantages of all, as far as practica- 
ble, have been added to their description. There 
are many other nominal towns, and a number of 
good settlements, not included in our present 
sketch, and which, conceiving we had offered suf- 
ficient information for the emigrant, and having 
some " bowels of compassion" for the general 
reader, we thought proper to omit. Towns in 
Texas, indeed, are of mushroom growth; they 
spring up in a day, and decay as soon, being aban- 
doned for some more alluring spot, which has the 
charm of novelty for a roving and unsettled emi- 
grant. The lapse of a few years, and the influence 
of a regular and well administered government, 
which we confidently hope will be the result of the 
present struggle, will materially alter and confirm 
the character of population, and the prospect and 
growth of the towns and villages of Texas. 



Inhabitants — Society and Manners. 

The population of Texas, exclusive of the In- 
dian tribes, is estimated at fifty thousand souls. 
Of these about five thousand are Mexicans, and 
the remainder mostly Anglo-Americans, with a 
small number of Europeans. The principal set- 
tlements of Mexicans are the old Spanish towns of 
Bexar and Goliad (formerly called La Bahia). 

The former was the capital of Texas, under the 
Spanish and Mexican dominions, and contains 
about twenty-five hundred inhabitants. The lat- 
ter is a village whose inhabitants do not exceed 
eight hundred. There is, also, a small village of 
Mexicans on the Guadalupe, at Victoria, near 
which there was also formerly a military post. At 
Nacogdoches and in the vicinity of the town, 
there is a Mexican population of about five hun- 
dred souls. A few families are also dispersed 
among the American settlers, particularly in Aus- 
tin's colony; but the addition of one thousand to 
those already mentioned, would include the total 
Mexican population in Texas. The Mexicans, in 
the colonies, are employed by the settlers mostly 
as herdsmen, and are universally acknowledged to 

128 TEXAS. 

be the best hands that can be procured, for the 
management of cattle, horses, and other live 
stock. Their occupation indeed, generally, is rais- 
ing live stock, and agriculture on a limited scale. 
Many of them make a business of catching and 
taming mustangs or wild horses, which they sell 
to the American settlers. They are also frequent- 
ly employed in the conduct of trade, by caravans, 
with the neighboring Mexican States. They are 
very ignorant and degraded, and generally speak- 
ing, timid and irresolute; and a more brutal and, 
at the same time, more cowardly set of men does 
not exist than the Mexican soldiery. They are 
held in great contempt by the American settlers, 
who assert that five Indians will chase twenty 
Mexicans, but five Anglo-Americans will chase 
twenty Indians. This savors rather of a "half 
horse and half alligator" origin, but the experience 
of the late revolution has confirmed its truth in 
the main. The Mexicans are commonly very 
indolent, of loose morals, and, if not infidels of 
which there are many, involved in the grossest 
superstition. This view exhibits why it is by no 
means wonderful that this people have been the 
dupes and slaves of so many masters, or that the 
plans of intelligent and patriotic men, for the po- 
litical regeneration of Mexico, have heretofore 
entirely failed. The moral education of this peo- 
ple must be improved, before their political condi- 
tion can be ameliorated* There are many honor- 
able and signal exceptions to this statement, it is 

TEXAS. 129 

true; but we believe the general character of the 
Mexicans in Texas and her vicinity has been 
pretty accurately drawn. Fortunately however, 
as we have seen, there are but few of the race 
within her confines. 

The great majority of the population of Texas, 
and the most valuable portion of it, consists of 
emigrants from the United States. The active 
and enterprising New Englander — the bold and 
hardy western hunter — the high-spirited southern 
planter — meet here upon common ground, divest- 
ed of all sectional influence, to lend their combin- 
ed energies to the improvement of this infant but 
delightful and prosperous country. It has been 
said and published by certain individuals, for what 
cause we know not without it is in sheer enmity 
to this country, that Texas is the great peniten- 
tiary of America, where outlaws, murderers, 
thieves, and vagabonds resort, after having been 
compelled to flee from the judgments of offended 
laws, or the scorn and detestation of society. This 
is a gross misrepresentation, and unworthy of any 
man who has the least regard for truth. That 
cases have existed and are yet occasionally found 
of this description we will not pretend to deny. 
They are unavoidable evils to which every new 
country is liable. We know indeed that a con- 
siderable portion of the United States was settled 
by transported convicts, and the evil increased to 
such a degree, as to become one of the primary 
matters of complaint, by the colonies to the mother 

130 TEXAS. 

country. Such is not the case however in Texas. 
It is true that there are found, here and there, re- 
fugees from justice; but they cannot be properly, 
called colonists; they are here, as in their own 
country, the marks of public contempt and ab- 
horrence, holding no influence in society, nor hon- 
ored with the confidence or regard of any citizen. 
They are considered as pests, and avoided as such. 
Never has any cis-Ailantic State been peopled by 
a more honest, industrious, intelligent, and respec- 
table emigration than Texas, and especially Aus- 
tin's colony. Sturdy mechanics, substantial far- 
mers, able professional men, and, not unfrequently, 
wealthy planters, have sought and found a home 
in the Brazos valley; while the great body of 
settlers, though commonly poor, have been of the 
most respectable and enterprising character. The 
empresario, Gen. Austin, has never admitted into 
his colony any man known to be of disreputable 
standing, and has always, as far as practicable, 
made diligent inquiries in order to ascertain, if 
possible, the conduct and reputation of each ap- 
plicant.* Facts — eloquent fa.cts — an the rapid 

* It is not always the case that an unremitted and unmiti- 
gated prosecution is the most proper, in regard to such unhappy 
characters as have incurred the penalty of the laws by the 
commission of crimes. Many a man has been driven to des- 
pair, and rendered a villain of ten times deeper dye by such a 
course, when, by proper treatment, he might have bpen reclaim- 
ed. We have often seen it the case, that men, outlawed from 
their own country, have sought a home in foreign lands, where 
their past lives were unknown, and, repentant for their former 
misdemeanors, have commenced an entirely new and useful 

TEXAS. 131 

gTowth of this country, the state of public senti- 
ment manifest in their present struggle, the success 

career. Confirmed nnd impenitent villains should always 
meet with deserved odium; but let not the weight of public in- 
dignation always fall with unrelenting force upon the head of 
the unfortunate, erring, but repentant culprit, who may yet be 
reclaimed and marie an useful member of society. The fol- 
lowing is an anecdote in point to confirm the justice of these 

remarks. B was a Kentuckian, and went to Texas in 

the early history of the colony, and located himself on a lovely 
but solitary spot, when there was scarcely a settlement of the 
Brazos. Here, with his wife and children, he resided in peace, 
and was getting things snug and comfortable around him, when 
evil-tongued rumor dragged him from his retreat. Word came 
to Gen. Austin that B had been a convict in the Peniten- 
tiary of Kentucky. He, bound for the good character of the 
colonists, sent forth an order immediately, as was his custom in 

»uch cases, for B to decamp within three days, on pain 

of summary punishment. Another refugee, the infamous De- 
sha, of Kentucky, averted the punishment of the law by com- 
mitting suicide. B replied that, true, he had been in 

the Penitentiary, and also he had been in the Legislature 
of Kentucky, where he opposed the manufacture of so ma- 
ny banks, by which he and so many others had been ruined; 
upon which he had been tempted to the crime of forgery, or to 
do that on a small scale, which they had been doing on a great 
one. He had paid the forfeit — had stolen off to his present re- 
treat to iead an honest and a solitary life, far from the world, 
which he desired neither to injure or to serve — and now he 
wished but to be let alone. 

Upon this, Gen. Austin paid him a visit, and was so well 
pleased with the conversation and improving condition of the 
old man and his family, that be left him to live and die in 

The cholera in 1832 finished bis course. He died in Brazoria, 
where it ennnot be said he lies interred, foi he was buried erect 
and in full dress, with his rifle on his shoulder, according to his 

132 TEXAS. 

which has attended her arms, and the sympathy 
which she has universally excited, loudly proclaim 
how false and slanderous have been such imputa- 
tions upon the honor of her citizenship, as that 
cited above. The tide of emigration now flowing 
in from the United States is of a character most 
desirable for any new country. The present 
American population is about fifty thousand and 
is augmenting daily. 

Of trans-Atlantic emigrants, the principal are 
Germans, French, English, and Irish; but chiefly 
the last. 

The colonies of Mc-Mullen & McGloin, and 
Powers, were contracted for, with the special pur- 
pose of settling an Irish population on their lands. 
These grants embrace the greater portion of the 
region situated between the Nueces and San An- 
tonio rivers. This is a very valuable part of 
Texas, and there can be no doubt but that many 
thousands of the oppressed sons of Erin, if they 
possessed the information and means of emigration, 
would joyfully exchange their " cow's grass" and 
"potatoe lots" for rich farms in this colony. Here 
are no tithes, no poor rates, no burthensome exac- 
tions, nor vexatious restrictions. Here enterprise 
and energy may unfold themselves to their fullest 
extent, in all the various pursuits of honest indus- 
try, without fear and without reproach. The col- 
ony has already commenced operations under fav- 
orable auspices, and will doubtless succeed and 
ultimately flourish. Nothing is now wanting to 

TEXAS. 133 

insure its immediate success, but a sufficient sup- 
ply of industrious emigrants; and these are fast 
coming in. A number of Irish families have al- 
ready established themselves in the upper grant of 
San Patrick, charmed with the country and ani- 
mated with the certain prospect of plenty and in- 
dependence, and the lower grant is constantly re- 
ceiving accessions. Never was there a more in- 
viting asylum for Irish emigrants, than is present- 
ed by the Irish colonies on the Nueces, and it is 
to be hoped that large numbers of them will avail 
themselves of the advantages here presented in the 
event of their becoming settlers. 

There are a considerable number of Negroes in 
Texas who, though slavery is prohibited, by an 
evasion of the law are " bound" for life, and are, 
de facto, the property of their masters. They are 
however, from the restraints of law, invested with 
more liberty and less liable to abuse than the 
slaves of the Southern United States. The ques- 
tion of negro slavery in connexion with the settle- 
ment of this country, is one of great importance, 
and perhaps may hereafter present a serious diffi- 
culty. The former constitution and laws totally 
prohibited this worst of evils. Should this wise 
policy be abandoned and Texas become, what 
Louisiana now is, the receptacle of the redundant 
and jail-delivered slaves of other countries, all its 
energies would be paralyzed, and whatever oppres- 
sions may hereafter arise either from abroad or at 
home, must be endured, for the country would re- 

134 TEXAS. 

quire a prop to lean upon, and, from necessity, 
would be forever dependant. 

Various Indian tribes are resident in Texas; 
but we reserve a notice of them for the succeed- 
ing chapter, which will be specially devoted to 
their history and manners. 

The character of Leather Stocking is not un- 
common in Texas. Many persons employ an 
individual of this class in the business of hunting, 
in all its branches; and thus are constantly sup- 
plied with provisions of every description, even 
to eggs, which are furnished by the immense num- 
ber of wild fowl. These hunters are very profit- 
able to their employers, and much cherished in 
the family, and often become spoiled by familiari- 
ty and indulgence. A roughness of manners, and a 
rudeness of speech are tolerated in them, which 
would not be brooked in other servants. They are 
a sort of privileged character. Indians and Mex- 
icans are considered the best qualified for this im- 
portant office. But it sometimes happens that a 
white man from the States, who has become some 
what decivilized, (to coin a word,) is substituted. 
The dress of these hunters is usually of deer-skin; 
hence the appropriate name of Leather Stocking. 
Their generic name, for they form a distinct 
class, is Frontiers-men** 

♦The family of Dust who reside on the "mound," notioed 
in this work as situated on the road between Brnzoria and 
San Felipe, are perhaps the most illiterate and decivilized .t 
any in Texas. The children are totally uneducated, wild. 

TEXAS. 135 

The use of the rifle, however, is not confined 
to the Leather Stockings, or to the ruder sex ex- 
clusively; as the following anecdote, the subject of 

which is still living, will testify. Mrs. M , 

the Texas Diana, has killed with the rifle eighty 
deer and one buffalo. - Her canting husband 
wanting industry alid capacity, she was compelled 
thus to support him and her children. She now 
lives alone with her children, in the prairie near 
Chocolate Bayou. She was an illiterate woman, 
having never been to school in her life; but the 
same independent spirit which placed the rifle in 
her hand for the support of her family, prompted 
her to study and improve herself by learning to 
read, after which she taught the same to her chil- 
dren; a great blessing for a poor family, where 
schools were formerly so very rare. The mode 
of her education, in the use of the rifle, will show 
how natural it is that we should find, in a wild un- 
settled country, many females in her circumstan- 
ces and of a daring spirit, who are acquainted 
w ith its use. The same bold mind which, in dif- 
ferent circumstances, would make such a female 

and rude, and flee from any association with strangers. They 
are, literally, "wild men of the woods," with the exception 
of one daughter, who married an intelligent and indus- 
trious yankee, with whom she now resides on the mound, 
and has become a very tidy woman, and quite respectable. 
Mrs. Dust, the mother of the family, is a grand daughter of 
the Kentucky patriarch, Daniel Boone, and does no discredit 
to her lineage, as far as a disposition for a roving and sol- 
itary life can testify. 


a polished lady, would lead her, here, to acquire 
the accomplishments of "wood-craft;" so much 
are we the creatures of circumstances. Her father 
came from Mississippi with his family in a keel- 
boat. Having to "put in" along shore frequently 
on the way, and to go hunting in order to pro- 
vide food for the party, she, then a young girl, took, 
at last, the habit of carrying the rifle, and thus 
learned the use of it. She is a strong active wo- 
man not yet thirty. When she hunts, not being 
able to lift a whole deer, she divides the animal 
with a "tomahawk" into quarters, tying two of 
thern together, and thus suspending them on each 
side of her horse. 

It must not be supposed from the characters we 
have named here as existing in Texas, that such 
constitute the body of her population, and give 
tone to her society. These are a distinct class of 
people, who are invariably found among the pio- 
neers of every new country, and are such as alone 
would be able to encounter the hardships, to 
endure the privations, and enjoy the solitude of 
the wilderness around them. Such as these form 
the avant couriers of civilization, and prepare the 
way for the less hardy but more refined colonist. 
Many of these who first penetrated into this then 
wild and uninhabited region, are still living to see 
the face of nature and society almost wholly 
changed by the rapid march of improvement, and 
are themselves solitary monuments, thinly scatter- 
ed through her territory, to show how great that 

TEXAS. 137 

change nas been. Though rude and unfit for the 
common avocations of social life, they are not 
however an useless or troublesome class. They 
are brave, generous, and hospitable; though gene- 
rally careless and unreflecting. Never having 
felt the various artificial wants of society, they 
regard not those luxuries which are required to 
supply them. Having lived mostly free from the 
restraints of law, they are not apt to pay implicit 
obedience to its dictates, when contrary to their 
own views and feelings. The descendants of this 
class reared in the midst of civilized society, com- 
bine the noble daring and independence of the 
one, with the refinement of the other: and, thus, 
frequently form the most intelligent, enterprising, 
and, altogether, the most valuable portion of a 

With regard to the state of society here, from 
what we have seen, it is natural to expect some 
incongruities. It will take some time for people 
gathered from the north and from the south, from 
east and from the west, to assimilate and adopt 
themselves to new situations. But there is one 
redeeming quality which is universal, and which 
will exert a most beneficial influence upon the 
manners of the people; that is the virtue of hos- 
pitality. Every body's house is open, and table 
spread to accommodate the traveller; the best of 
every thing is presented freely, not indeed with 
the refinement and courtesy of a polished Eu- 
ropean community, but with the honest, blunt, but 

138 TEXAS. 

hearty welcome of a Texas back-woodsman. 
There are a few here of the higher class, whose man- 
ners are more courtly but not less sincere. Na- 
ture has lavished her treasures upon all, and they 
seem imbued with the spirit of liberality which 
such abundance should create. Though there are 
a few who may be styled nabobs, as far as wealth 
is concerned, and others who are worthless and 
wretched: yet, as a general remark, there are no 
poor people here, and none rich; that is, none who 
have much money. The poor and the rich, to 
use the correlatives where distinction there is 
none, get the same quantity of land on arrival; 
and if they do not continue equal, it is for want 
of good management on the one part, or superior 
industry and sagacity on the other. All are hap- 
py, because busy; and none meddle with the af- 
fairs of their neighbors, because they have enough 
to do to take care of their own. They are bound 
together, by a common interest, by samenesss of 
purpose and hopes. Artificial wants are entirely 
forgotten in the view of real ones; and self, eter- 
nal self, does not alone fill up the round of life. 
Delicate ladies find they can be useful, and need 
not be vain. Even privations become pleasures; 
people grow ingenious in overcoming difficulties. 
Many latent faculties are developed. They dis- 
cover in themselves powers which they did not 
suspect themselves of possessing, and, equally sur- 
prised and delighted with the discovery, they ap- 
ply to then* labors with all that energy and spirit, 

TEXAS. 139 

which new hope and conscious strength inspire. 
This state of things may be changed, and society 
probably advanced a grade higher in the scale, by 
the events of the present war. 

All the comforts of life surround the settler here, 
which are enjoyed by a Kentucky farmer. Neat 
and comfortable houses, though not furnished with 
all the luxury which characterize the mansions of 
an older country, are sufficiently convenient and 
sometimes spacious. Dwellings are generally con- 
structed in the cottage style, only one story high, 
mostly of logs, though not unfrequently frame and 
brick buildings are found. Porticos in front of the 
tenements are almost universal. The furniture is 
generally of domestic manufacture, except in a 
few houses owned by wealthy planters, who have 
been at the pains to import from the United States 
articles more sumptuous than those in common 

Tables, chairs, &c, when of foreign construc- 
tion, are generally imported in pieces, and put to- 
gether after their arrival. The table commonly 
in use, however, is a simple frame and top, made 
of such boards as can be obtained in the country; 
and the chairs are framed and bottomed with 
deer skin, buffalo robes, withes, &c. We have 
noticed these trivial affairs in order to give a 
proper idea of the furniture of a Texas dwelling. 
These cottages contain from two to five rooms, 
made warm, sometimes lined with boards, but 
rarely plastered. One room is set apart for the 

140 TEXAS. 

kitchen; the rest are used for bed-rooms, sitting- 
rooms, &x. indiscriminately. The living cannot 
but be excellent in a country, which is furnished 
with such a profusion of the good things of life as 
Texas. Vegetables of every descriptions, wild 
fowl, and other game, beef, pork, venison, fowls, 
butter, eggs, milk, &c, with tea, coffee, and all the 
like comforts commonly found upon the tables in 
our country. Unfortunately, cooks do not grow 
upon trees. The epicure, therefore, who brings 
with him his morbid appetites, must also bring his 
cook. But he who can relish the most whole- 
some viands, dressed in the plain manner of the 
country, will never find opportunity to complain 
of the quality or quantity of fare which is to be 
found upon a Texas table. 

The ordinary dress of the inhabitants is fully 
equal, if not superior, to that of the back-woods 
settlers of the Western United States. A stran- 
ger would be astonished to see, in this infant set- 
tlement, a taste and luxury displayed by females 
in the article of dress, which would compare with 
that of the old settlements of our country. Dry 
good stores, well supplied, are to be found in all 
the towns of much size, and there is, hence, no 
difficulty to the opulent farmer or mechanic — and 
opulence is an unfailing consequence of industry 
here — to supply themselves with the very best ar- 
ticles of clothing. Indeed, no new country in 
America presents a population more tasteful and 
genteel in dress than Texas; and one would sup- 

TEXAS. 141 

pose, on visiting a ball-room or a place of fashion- 
able resort — for such there are — that he had fallen 
among the elite of a flourishing and refined com- 
munity; when the fact is, he would be among the 
common class of a country where there are no dis- 
tinctions, where rich and poor blend together, and 
where all are able to, and on such occasions do 
present the same genteel appearance. 

There is no aristocracy observable here except 
such as nature herself demands; the only distinc- 
tion is that which always should obtain between 
virtue and vice. All are contented; all are happy. 
Each thinks himself, with a pardonable vanity, 
the most highly favored of men. Each has in his 
own opinion the best land, the best water courses, 
the finest timber, and the most judicious mode of 
operation; proving at least that each is satisfied 
with his own lot, and not disposed to envy his 
neighbor. There are exceptions to this tone of 
feeling it is true; but we are merely tracing the 
general complexion of society, which is such as 
we have described it, at present, whatever changes 
may be wrought in it Y eafter. 

Many foreigners, well educated, and of polished 
manners, have found a home in the Brazos valley; 
and the higher requisites of social intercouse are 
not totally absent here.* Great attention is be- 

* Our readers will doubtless be interested in the following 
truly affecting fate of a distinguished foreigner, who had sought, 
but unsuccessfully, an asylum in Texas. 

The Count de Posse, the friend, kinsman, and companion in 

142 TEXAS. 

ginning to be paid to education and the spread of 
useful knowledge among the people. Two newspa- 
pers are already established in Austin's colony — 
the Texas Republican at Brazoria; and the Tele- 
graph at San Felipe. Several schools with compe- 
tent instructors are well supported, and the 

arms of Napoleon, had been for two or three years a wanderer 
in America, recommending himself, in the various places of his 
short sojourns, by the refined and amiable qualities of his mind 
and heart. Overwhelmed by domestic afflictions and pecuniary 
troubles, he suffered excessive depression of spirits, some say, 
mental derangement. It was perhaps under such partial alien- 
ation that during the summer of 1831 he found his way to Texas. 
While in Brazoria his means were exhausted. Some humane 
persons befriended and assisted him, and soothed him as far as 
they could. But he was ill calculated to sustain the evils of so 
comfortless and hopeless a condition. He passed on to San 
Antonio, proposing, it is said, to go to the city of Mexico, where 
after remaining a few weeks, moneyless and dejected, he put an 
end to hi- miserable existence by blowing out his brains. Be- 
fore the fatal moment, while he stood on the bunks of the river 
premeditating the last desperate act of his life^ he called a boy 
to hiui and save him his splendid watch, his rings and trinkets, 
(probably keepsakes and relics of his happier days) telling him 
to carry them to a person he named, and probably owed for 
means of subsistence while in that place. He then applied the 
fatal pistols one to each ear, meaning, it is thought, that his 
body should fall into the river, and thus further trouble about 
him be saved. But his delicacy on this point mii>ht have been 
spared, for the orthodox Mexicans concern themselves little 
about heretics or charities. The last rites to his negleeted and 
mangled remains were performed, where they fell, by the birds 
or beasts of prey. Nor were they the first vultures tbatknaw- 
ed at his too tender heart. All who knew him speak with 
kindness and respect of the unhappy Count de Posse, 

TEXAS. 143 

" knights of the birch" will find a broad and profit- 
able field for labor in the numerous settlements 
here, where all are more or less wealthy, and anx- 
ious to bestow upon their children a good edu- 

Public Instruction, by the confederated state 
of Coahuila and Texas was predicated upon the 
following basis: "In all the towns of the State, 
there shall be established a competent number of 
common schools, in which there shall be taught 
reading, writing, and cyphering; the catechism 
of the christian religion, a short and simple expla- 
nation of the constitution, and the general one of 
the Republic; the rights and duties of man in So- 
ciety, and that which can conduce to the better 
education of youth." 

"The method of instruction shall be uniform 
throughout the State, and in those places where it 
may be necessary, there shall be institutions of 
learning more suitable for disseminating public in- 
struction in the useful arts and sciences." 

So wise an act of legislation, we are confidently 
assured, will not be altered by the free and inde- 
pendent State of Texas, should she attain to inde- 
pendence; but, on the contrary, new and improv- 
ed facilities will be extended for the promotion of 
the interests of education. 

With regard to the language of the Texans, you 
hear nothing but English. This is to be expected, 
inasmuch as the great body of settlers is compos- 
ed of emigrants from the United States. It is 

144 TEXAS 

owing to this cause that the laws and all public 
proceedings, which were formerly published in 
Spanish, are by a late act, required to be promul- 
gated in the English language. It is about as great 
an accomplishment to speak Spanish there, as it is 
French in our own States. It is however conve- 
nient to know it; and all who can, try to attain 
it. Lawyers who know it, will hereafter have a 
great advantage over others who are ignorant of 
it; all deeds, conveyances, &c. being written in 
the Spanish. Those acquainted with this lan- 
guage find a profitable business as translators: 
this shows how few there are who are adepts in it. 
As to language, idioms, &c. as well as many cus- 
toms, it would be unnecessary for us to go into a 
detail. Let the reader only fancy himself in Ken- 
tucky or any new State, listening to their con- 
versation and observing their manners, and he 
will have an accurate idea of such things in Texas. 
Indeed it is very probable that we have already 
wasted too much time in our description of Texans 
and their manners, and that it would have been 
fully sufficient to have said, with regard to many 
things, that, the inhabitants differ but very little 
from those of the recently settled western and 
southern States of our country. 

A few remarks upon some peculiarities in Texas 
customs, and we shall conclude this chapter. 

We have heretofore spoken of the wild daring 
of this people, even of the females; and cited a 
case which was rather an extreme one — of rare 

TEXAS. 145 

occurrence. But necessity has taught many of 
a more elevated rank in life, a hardihood and cour- 
age which is truly surprising in the gentle sex. 
We shall now make a few remarks upon a great 
class, of which the example we shall give is 
a just one, who were formed to be remarkable wo- 
men in any sphere, nnd whose characters have 
been moulded by the circumstances of the coun- 
try, in which their lots have been cast. At the 
same time it will be recollected that the state of 
the country is fast changing the character of so- 
ciety, and that this class is yielding to one of a 
different description, such as improvement and re- 
finement in any country naturally gives birth to. 

Living in a wild country under circumstances 
requiring constant exertion, forms the character 
to great and daring enterprise. Women thus sit- 
uated are known to perform exploits, which the 
effeminate men of populous cities might tremble at. 
Hence there are more Dianas and Esther Stanhopes 
than one in Texas. It is not uncommon for ladies 
to mount their mustangs and hunt with their hus- 
bands, and with them to camp out for days on 
their excursions to the sea shore for fish and oys- 
ters. All visiting is done on horseback, and they 
will go fifty miles to a ball with their silk dresses, 
made perhaps in Philadelphia or New Orleans, in 
their saddle-bags. Hardy, vigorous constitutions, 
free spirits, and spontaneous gaiety are thus in- 
duced, and continued a rich legacy to their chil- 
dren, who, it is to be hoped, will sufficiently value 

146 TEXAS. 

the blessing not to squander it away, in their 
eager search for the luxuries and refinements of 
polite life. Women have capacity for greatness, 
but they require occasions to bring it out. They 
require, perhaps, stronger motives than men — they 
have stronger barriers to break through of indo- 
lence and habit — but, when roused, they are quick 
to discern and unshrinking to act* Lot was urv- 
fortunate in his wife. Many a wife in Texas has 
proved herself the better half, and many a widow's 
heart has prompted her to noble daring. 

Mrs. left her home in Kentucky with her 

six sons, and no other jewels. There was good 
land and room in Texas. Hither she came with- 
the first settlers, at a time when the Indians were 
often troublesome by coming in large companies 
and encamping near an isolated farm, demanding 
of its helpless proprietors, not then too well pro- 
vided for, whatever of provisions or other things 
struck their fancies. One of these foraging par- 
ties, not over nice in their demands, stationed 
themselves in rather too near proximity to the 
dwelling of this veteran lady. They were so 
well satisfied with their position, and scoured the 
place so completely, that she ventured to remon- 
strate, gently at first, then more vehemently. All 
would not do: the pic-nics would not budge an 
inch; and moreover threatened life if she did not 
forbear from further expressions of impatience. 
The good woman was armed. She buckled on her 
breastplate of courage, if not of righteousness, and 

TEXAS. !47 

with her children and women servants, all her 
household around her, sent for the chief, and very 
boldly expostulating with him, commanded him to 
depart on the instant at the peril of his tribe; or 
by a signal she would call in her whole people, nu- 
merous and formidable, and exterminate his race. 
She was no more troubled with the Indians. She 
lives comfortably with her thriving family and 
thriving fortune, and with great credit to herself, 
on the road between Brazoria and San Felipe, in 
the same house now famed for its hospitality and 
comfort. It is the usual stopping place for travel- 
lers on that route, who are not a little entertained 
with the border stories and characteristic jests, 
there related, by casual companies meeting for the 
night and sharing the same apartment. It was 
thus that the above incident, much more exempli- 
fied, was drawn from the hostess herself. A vol- 
ume of reminiscences thus collected, racy with the 
marvellous, would not be unapt to modern taste, 
and the modern science of book-making. 

The ladies of Texas during the passing strug- 
gle — more patriots even than the men — have dis- 
played mach of the Roman virtue, encouraging 
the citizens, and keeping up the chivalry of the 
volunteers by expressions of enthusiasm and by 
fetes as well as by a careful attention to their 
wants. They have not yet been called upon to 
shoulder the rifle and mount the war-steed, but 
with the occasion will come the spirit to do so. 
Their present duty is to guard the domicil. 


*° TEXAS. 

The early settlers are much given to boasting 
of their exploits— especially with the Indians- 
considering such achievements as a sort of title 
to nobility. Noble deeds certainly are the best 
claim to the best species of nobility. Hence all 
good governments— except our own America— are 
liberal in their gifts of titles as well as of money 
to their statesmen, heroes, artists, and all whodis 
tinguish themselves. 

These enterprising and proud pioneers are not 
half pleased that persons coming in at the eleventh 
hour; should share the benefits of the colony equal- 
ly with those who have borne the heat and burthen 
of the day. They should reflect, however, that 
there are other claims to the privileges of good 
citizenship, besides fighting Indians — or Mexicans. 
While on the subject of women, it is natural 
and just to make a digression in their favor, 
prefering with our own countryman, Ledyard, to 
flatter the sex rather than the individual. The 
Mexican women are made the treasurers of all 
deposits of money, even where their husbands 
are distrusted. Is it nature's religion written in 
the hearts of the natives? for from them they are 
said to derive it. 

Mr. , an American trader, passes from the 

coast to the interior and back twice a year, with 
goods and large sums of gold and silver, (there 
being no paper money in Mexico,) which it is in- 
convenient to take along. His custom is to make 
deposits at different stages of the route — always 
with the women, whether Mexican or Indian. At 

TEXAS. 149 

one time there were suspicious circumstances 
about the place of his selection, and he trembled 
for his treasure. A handsome young girl with 
woman's sagacity observing his confusion, stepped 
forward from a group of ill-looking men, her rela- 
tions, with a "Give it to me Si?; I will take care of 
it" and forthwith she put it in her chest before 
them all. 

Returning after some months worn out and sick, 
he entered the same hovel and threw himself on 
the only bed there, not a little anxious about the 
fate of his money, but saying nothing. The 
abovementioned chest, situated so that he could 
look into it, was frequently opened, and he saw 
with dismay that it was not there. At length, 
watching his moment, he ventured an inquiry. 
The faithful creature told him to be easy, that 
fearing the men of the family had some design up- 
on it, she had buried it under her bed — the one on 
which he lay. It was a ground floor. The bag 
she said might be spoiled, but she would furnish 
him with another. She did so, with every dollar 
of the thousands so religiously guarded, without 
reward, and purely from a sense of honor. 

To balance this fine quality, the Mexicans, 
women as well as men, are said to be remarkable 
for their ingratitude. One, familiar with them, 
and who had shown them many favors — even to 
the saving of life — declared he never saw a symp- 
tom of that virtue. The only case which came 
nearest to it was once when he sent his sailors to 

150 TEXAS. 

rescue a canoe of drowning men on their way 
down the Del Norte to the market town. Of 
their large stock of vegetables and delicious fruits 
all saved by him, he was offered a piece of sugar 
cane as a reward for his services — exhibiting a 
Spartan indifference to kindness, if not to danger. 
Favors shown them awaken suspicions of sinister 

Does this trait come also from nature? Rather 
has it grown out of the treachery practised upon 
them by their Spanish masters. The native 
Mexicans are represented as a simple, unsuspect- 
ing people — their merciless conquerors as mali- 
cious and intriguing. Duped and subdued, it was 
natural for them to grow suspicious. Thus is 
character formed and transmitted to the latest 
time. An intelligent Indian being asked why his 
people had no sentiment of gratitude replied: "It 
is a part of our education, and incorporated into 
our religion, not to be grateful to Spaniards for 
benefits, because they are incapable of disinte- 
rested actions. Our fathers taught us that the 
white men, being more intelligent and cunning 
than they were, circumvented, plundered, and en- 
slaved them by duplicity, pretending to have their 
good in view, when their object was their goods 
and gold. Therefore, when a white man did an 
act of kindness to an Indian, he must be guarded 
against some latent design which he could not 
discover, and this shut out all sense of gratitude." 



The Comanches, whether we consider them 
by the standard of savages, or according to that 
of civilized man, have deservedly the highest rank 
among the tribes of Indians in the vicinity of 
Texas. This is the uniform testimony of the nu- 
merous traders who pass through their hunting 
grounds, and have more or less traffic with their 
tribe. Like the Arabs, they are distinguished for 
two prominent virtues — fidelity and hospitality. 
It is said of that wandering people that, though 
they never fail to rob the unwary traveller and 
murder him too, if it suit their purpose, if you go 
to their dwelling and claim hospitality, all they 
have is at your service, not in polite phrase only, 
but in reality, to the possession of their whole 
stock of comforts, and the great inconvenience of 
themselves and dependents. They will then put 
you on your journey with an escort to the end of 
the pale of their jurisdiction. It is even so with 
the Comanches. Persons understanding their 
character, go fearlessly through their country, 
sure to find protection if they ask it. They are 
however much more amicably disposed towards 

152 TEXAS. 

Americans of the north, from whom they have 
experienced no undeserved harshness, than to- 
wards Mexicans. Indeed they are anxious to keep 
them friends against their ancient foe. Of mixed 
companies travelling together, the former are al- 
ways treated with respect, while the latter are 
often killed by them sans ceremonie. Like Turk 
and infidel they seem to have an exterminating 
antipathy for each other. Whoever reads the 
conquests of Cortes and his companions will not 
be puzzled to understand the grounds of these 
bitter feelings. The Spaniards like all perpetra- 
tors of injustice, must pay the penalty of their 

The Comanches inhabit the country to the north 
and northwest of San Antonio de Bexar. They 
like the Arabs are a wandering race, do not culti- 
vate the earth for corn, but depend altogether upon 
the chase for subsistence. They have, however, 
villages located generally with native taste in some 
luxuriant and beautiful place that is easily protected, 
where they leave their women and children in their 
hunting and warlike excursions, and hold their 
councils. They follow the immense herds of buf- 
falo which graze the vast plains of this region, often 
to the amount of thousands in one herd. These 
plains are also stocked with wild horses, which 
run together in droves of many hundreds. These 
wild horses are called, in the language of the 
country, mustangs, and hence the figure of speech 
to denote any thing wild and uncultivated, as a 

TEXAS. 153 

mustang girl, applied to a rude hunter's daughter. 
These horses are not natives, but descended from 
the stock brought over by the first Spaniards. Do- 
mestic animals, and man himself, become rude, 
when removed from the associations of civilized 
life. The Comanches catch and tame these wild 
horses, and when unsuccessful in chase, subsist 
upon them. 

These Indians always move on horseback. Be- 
sides the bows and arrows, the usual arms of the In- 
dian warrior, they are armed, like the Cossacks with 
a long spear, having a sword blade for the point. A 
war party of these mounted Indians is sufficiently 
formidable. They are headed by two squaws, who 
by their shrill voices, serve as trumpeters, and have, 
like them, various tones to denote the different 
evolutions and movements. When they descry 
an object of attack or pursuit, they dart forward 
in a column like lightning towards it. At a suita- 
ble distance from their prey, they divide into two 
squadrons, one half taking to the right and the 
other to the left, and thus surround it. 

Though fierce in war they are civil in peace, 
and remarkable for their sense of justice. A tra- 
der with a caravan passing through their territory, 
not long since, relates the following incident exhib- 
iting their great sense of probity. A party of young 
Indians hanging about their camp, gave evident 
designs of a disposition to depredate upon their 
goods and animals. Word was given out that if 
they touohed an article they should be shot. Dur- 

154 TEXAS. 

ing the night a bold young fellow seized upon a 
mule and was shot down by the sentinel in the 
act. The trader was violently carried off by the 
accompanying Indians, and long held a prisoner* 
expecting daily to suffer a cruel death for his temer 
ity. What was his surprise, then, on being called 
before a regular tribunal of chiefs, and required to 
make his defence for the crime he had committed: 
the accusing party — friends of the deceased- 
having first stated the grounds of their grievance, 
in perfect accordance with the truth, without at- 
tempt to bias the opinion of the judges. Is civil 
law more just. The trader made a simple state- 
ment of facts — how he was a travelling peaceably 
through their country, and a young Indian had 
been shot in attempting to rob him — "very well," 
said the presiding chief, "you served him right." 
The trader, forthwith-, was not only acquitted, but 
damages were awarded to him in proportion to the 
injury done his cattle and goods by detention, &c 
and paid by the family in horses and mules. They 
ca.ll the people of the United States their friends, 
and give them protection, while they hate the 
Mexicans, and murder them without mercy. 

The Comanches have one head chief and many 
subordinate ones. They hold regular councils 
quarterly, and a grand council of the whole tribe 
once a year. At these councils all important 
matters are decided, and all prisoners taken for 
offences are tried. Their discipline is rigid. If 
a bunting party takes the life of a North American 

TEXAS. 155 

after making him prisoner, without bringing him 
before the council for trial, the offenders are pun- 
ished with death. Not so with the Mexicans, who 
are considered as enemies and treated as such. 
This hatred is mutual, and fully reciprocated on 
the part of the Mexicans. Hence the origin of 
the epithet expressiug odium, so general in ail 
parts of Mexico: to denote the greatest degree of 
degradation, they call a person a Comanche. 

The following adventure with a body of these 
Indians, related by Gen. Austin himself, being 
illustrative of the Comanches, is here inserted. 
It will show you also an instance of the kind of 
hazard, both of life and limb, which this enterpris 
ing man has encountered in accomplishing his no* 
ble project. 

On his way to the city of Mexico, in the year 
1822, with but two persons in company, arriving 
at San Antonio, he was told it was dangerous to 
proceed without an escort, for a war party of Co- 
manches was abroad, killing every unprotected per- 
son who came in their way, that some individuals 
had been murdered by them the day before, and 
mat he, with so much baggage, being a valuable 
prize, could not possibly hope to escape. 

Finding, however, no opportunity of obtaining 
an escort, and the business of the colony requiring 
his presence in the metropolis, he resolved, at all 
hazards, to proceed on his journey. They travel- 
led the first day unmolested. On the morning of 
the second day, feeling somewhat indisposed, he 

156 TEXAS. 

undertook to prepare some coffee. There were 
no accommodations on the road, and it was neces- 
sary to carry provisions on a pack horse, and cook 
by the way-side. His companions warned him, 
that if there were Indians near, they would be at- 
tracted by the smoke. He flattered himself that 
by selecting a sheltered place and making little 
smoke, it would be impossible for them to discern 
it. Besides, his craving for the coffee was so 
great, being afflicted with a bad head-ache, he in- 
sisted he must have it at all risks. They were 
upon an open plain, and they could see many miles 
around. No living creature at the moment, but 
themselves, was in view. 

The men in company went to seek the horses, 
which had been hoppled the night before and let 
loose to feed. This is a mode of tying the horses' 
legs together to keep them from running away. 
The general retired to a little ravine to enjoy his 
coffee. It was boiled, and in the act of putting the 
refreshing beverage to his parched lips, he heard a 
sound like the trampling of many horses. Raising 
his head, with the coffee yet untasted, he beheld in 
the distance, fifty mounted Comanches, with their 
spears glittering in the morning sun, dashing to- 
wards him at full speed. As the column advanced, 
it divided, according to their usual practice, into two 
semi-circles, and in an instant he was surrounded. 
Quicker than thought he sprang to his loaded rifle, 
but as his hand grasped it, he felt that resistance by 
one against a host was vain. 

TEXA8. 157 

The plunder commenced. Every article of the 
little encampment, with the saddle-bags, which he 
stood upon to protect if possible, was greedily 
seized. His presence of mind, however, did not 
forsake him. He calmly meditated for a moment, 
on what course to pursue. 

Assuming great composure, he went up to the 
chief, and addressing him in Spanish and the few 
words of Indian he knew, he declared himself to 
be an American, and demanded if their nation 
was at war with the Americans. " No", was the 
reply. " Do you like the Americans?" "Yes — 
they are our friends." "Where do you get your 
spear heads, your blankets," &c. naming all their 
foreign articles, one by one. "Get them from 
our friends the Americans." "Well, do you think 
if you were passing through their nation, as I am 
passing through yours, they would rob you as 
you have robbed me?" The chief reflected a 
little, and replied, "No it would not be right." 
Upon which he commanded his people to restore 
all the things taken. 

Every article of value came back, with the 
same despatch with which it had disappeared, 
except the saddle-bags These, which contained 
all his money, were indispensable to the further 
prosecution of his journey. No one could tell any 
thing of the saddle-bags. Almost in despair of 
seeing them again, he observed in a thicket at a 
little distance a squaw, one of the trumpeters, 
kicking and belaboring her horse to make him 

158 TEXAS. 

move off, while the sagacious beast would not stir 
a step from the troop. The General instantly 
pursued the female robber, and, thanks to her res- 
tive mustang, secured his property, which was 
very adroitly hidden under the saddle blanket 
and herself. The whole squadron then wheeled 
off, and were seen no more. 

One little circumstance connected with this 
adventure must be added. A Spanish grammar 
which the General carried suspended at the saddle- 
bow, that he might study it as he rode along, (for 
he was not then familiar with the Spanish lan- 
guage,) was missing. This grammar was after- 
wards found among the Indians by some traders. 
and having the owners name in it, a report spread 
abroad, that he had been killed by the Comanches. 
This report reached the ears of his anxious moth- 
er and sister in Missouri, and it was many months 
before they learned that he had survived this 
dreary pilgrimage. 

The Carancahuas inhabited, formerly, the 
whole of the sea coast. They were reputed to 
be cannibals and very ferocious. Hence, proba- 
bly, the Spaniards were little disposed to invade 
them, or to visit the country without a strong mili- 
tary escort. Hence also, it is less surprising, that 
they acquired little knowledge of the coast, and 
thus they supplied the place of knowledge, with 
tales of fictitious horrors. 

The first settlers in this part of the country, 
under Gen. Austin, arrived in considerable force 

TEXAS. 159 

and were well armed. The Carancahuas were 
sufficiently peaceable so long as the settlers re- 
mained in a body, annoying them only by beg- 
ging and stealing whatever fell in their way. But 
when the settlers separated to explore the coun- 
try for the purpose of selecting an eligible location, 
four of the number who were left with the pro- 
visions and baggage to protect them, were killed 
by these Indians, and their goods carried off. 

Thus hostilities commenced. The colonists, at 
this period, were not strong enough to inflict the 
chastisement the Indians had provoked, being un- 
aided by a single soldier from the government, 
and were compelled to submit to the insolence 
they could not resent. These vexations were en- 
dured for some years, when, at last, the num- 
ber of the colonists being much increased, they 
mustered a parly of sixty riflemen, to punish 
them for some murders they had committed. 
Gen. Austin commanded this expedition in per- 
son. The result was the slaughter of half the 
tribe. The remainder took refuge in the church 
of the Mexican Mission of La Bahia. The 
priests were ordered to turn them out, on pain of 
having the sactuary violated in case of refusal. 
But after much entreaty by' the priests and Al- 
cade, a truce was granted them, on condition, that 
they should never again cross the La Bada river, 
the western boundary of the colony. The Al- 
cade and priests became surety for their good be- 

160 TEXAS. 

havior. This engagement they have faithfully 

Recently, the Mexicans have commenced killing 
the remnant of this tribe, for some robberies and 
murders committed by them. The survivors have 
crossed the La Bacn, to the number of forty or 
fifty, to beg the protection of the colonists, offer- 
ing to perform any kind of service or labor, in re- 
turn for protection and food. The people on 
that frontier have, accordingly, distributed them 
amongst their families, as servants. 

Thus the shores and bays of this beautiful re- 
gicn., in which these fierce children of the woods 
once roamed, free as the lion of the desert, hav6 
been transferred to other hands. From being th6 
rightful proprietors of the domain, they have be- 
come the hewers of wood and drawers of water 
to their invaders, 

There are remnants of several other tribes of 
Indians, the Waccos, Tawackanies, Caddos, Tan- 
kaways, Lepans, &c, which stiil exist in Texas, 
but of too little note to merit particular notice. 
They are either too few in number to be formida- 
ble, or so far civilized as to provide well for them- 
selves without disturbing others. 

The Cushatees are most worthy of notice* 
They have their villages on the Trinity river, their 
houses are well constructed, and their fields well 
cultivated. They have good stocks of horses and 
cattle, use culinary utensils, and are hospitable to 
strangers. In Autumn, when their crops are laid 


by, they range the country in small parties, to pro- 
cure a winter's stock of venison and bear's meat, 
leaving their villages often without a single indi- 
vidual to protect them. They are few in num- 
ber and quite friendly. When among the settle- 
ments, they conduct themselves with great pro- 
priety, and know the difference between a wild 
hog and one that has a mark on his ear. 

The Kickapoos, Shawnees, Cherokees, and 
Creeks, driven by the people of the United States 
to the west of the Mississippi, sometimes extend 
their hunting parties quite to the settlements on the 
Brazos. They appear to regard the American 
settlers in Texas, as a part of the people of the 
United States, and conduct themselves in a friend- 
ly and respectful manner. 

The following graphic description of an acci- 
dental rencontre with a war party of Waccos and 
Tawackanies, as related by Razin P. Bowie, for- 
merly of Louisiana, now a resident of San Anto- 
nio, a chief actor, is so interesting and characte- 
ristic — so apropros to our purpose, that it merits a 
place while speaking of the Indians of Texas. 

The Indians were one hundred and sixty-four 
in number: the Americans but nine men and two 
boys — eleven in all. 

"On the 2d of November, 1831, we left the 
town of San Antonio de Bexar for the silver mines 
on the San Saba river; the party consisting of the 
following named persons: — Razin P. Bowie, James 
Bowie, David Buchanan, Robert Armstrong, Jesse 

162 TEXAS. 

Wallace, Matthew Doyle, Cephas D. Hamrn, 
James Cornell, Thomas M'Caslin, Gonzales and 
Charles, servant boys. Nothing particular oc- 
curred until the 19th, on which day, abouMO A. 
M., we were overhauled by two Comanche In- 
dians and a Mexican captive, who had struck our 
trail and followed it. They stated that they be- 
longed to Isaonie's party, a chief of the Coman- 
che tribe, sixteen in number, and were on their 
road to San Antonio, with a drove of horses y 
which they had taken from the Waccos and Ta- 
wackanies, and were about returning to their 
owners, citizens of San Antonio. After smoking 
and talking with them about an hour, and making 
them a few presents of tobacco, powder, shot, &c. r 
they returned to their party, who were waiting at 
the Illano river. 

We continued our journey until night closed 
upon us, when we encamped. The next morn- 
ing, between daylight and sunrise, the above-named 
Mexican captive returned to our camp, his horse 
very much fatigued, and who, after eating and 
smoking, stated to us that he had been sent by 
his chief, Isaonie, to inform us we were followed 
by one hundred and twenty-four Tawackanie and 
Wacco Indians, and forty Caddos had joined 
them, who were determined to have our scalps at 
all risks. Isaonie had held a talk with them all 
the previous afternoon, and endeavored to dis- 
suade them from their purpose; but they still per- 
sisted, and left him enraged and pursued our trail. 

TEXAS. 163 

As a voucher for the truth of the above, the Mex- 
ican produced his chief's silver medal, which is 
common among the natives in such cases. He 
further stated that his chief requested him to say, 
that he had but sixteen men, badly armed and 
without ammunition; but if we would return and 
join him, such succour as he could give us he 
would. But knowing that the enemy lay between 
us and him, we deemed it more prudent to pursue 
our journey and endeavor to reach the old fort 
on the San Saba river before night, distance thir- 
ty miles. The Mexican then returned to his 
party, and we proceeded on. 

Throughout the day we encountered bad roads, 
being covered with rocks, and the horses' feet be- 
ing worn out, we were disappointed in not reach- 
ing the fort. In the evening we had some little 
difficulty in picking out an advantageous spot 
where to encamp for the night. We however 
made choice of the best that offered, which was a 
cluster of live-oak trees, some thirty or forty in 
number, about the size of a man's body. To the 
north of them a thicket of live-oak bushes, about ten 
feet high, forty yards in length and twenty in 
breadth. To the west, at the distance of thirty-five 
or forty yards, ran a stream of water. 

The surrounding country was an open prairie, 
interspersed with a few trees, rocks, and broken 
land. The trail which we came on lay to the 
east of our encampment. After taking the pre- 
caution to prepare our spot for defence, by cutting 

164 TEXAS. 

4 road inside the thicket of bushes, ten feet from 
the outer edge all around, and clearing the prickl y 
pears from amongst the bushes, we hoppled our 
horses and placed sentinels for the night. We 
were now distant six miles from the old fort above 
mentioned, which was built by the Spaniards in 
1752, for the purpose of protecting them while 
working the silver mines, which are a mile dis- 
tant. A few years after, it was attacked by the 
Comanche Indians, and every soul put to death. 
Since that time it has never been occupied. With- 
in the fort is a church which, had we reached be- 
fore night, it was our intention to have occupied 
to defend ourselves against the Indians. The fort 
surrounds about one acre of land under a twelve 
feet stone wall. 

Nothing occurred throughout the night, and we 
lost no time in the morning in making prepara- 
tions for continuing our journey to the fort; and 
when in the act of starting, we discovered the 
Indians on our trail to the east, about two hundred 
yards distant, and a footman about fifty yards 
ahead of the main body, with his face to the 
ground, tracking. The cry of Indians was given, 
and all hands to arms. We dismounted, and both 
saddle and pack horses were immediately made 
fast to the trees. As soon as they found we had 
discovered them, they gave the war whoop, halt- 
ed and commenced stripping, preparatory to action. 
A number of mounted Indians were reconnoitring 
the ground; amongst them we discovered a few 

TEXAS. 165 

Caddo Indians, by the cut of their hair, who had 
always previously been friendly to Americans. 

Their number being so far greater than ours, 
(one hundred and sixty four to eleven,) it was 
agreed that Razin P. Bowie should be sent out to 
talk with them, and endeavor to compromise 
rather than attempt a fight. He accordingly start- 
ed with David Buchanan in company, and walk^ 
ed up to within about forty yards of where they 
had halted, and requested them in their own tongue 
to send forward their chief, as he wanted to talk 
with him. Their answer was, "how de do? how 
de do?" in English, and a discharge of twelve shot 
at us, one of which broke Buchanan's leg. Bowie 
returned their salutation with the contents of a 
double barrelled gun and a pistol. He then took 
Buchanan on his shoulder, and started back to the 
encampment. They then opened a heavy fi re 
upon us, which wounded Buchanan in two more 
places slightly, and piercing Bowie's hunting shirt 
in several places without doing him any injury. 
When they found their shot failed to bring Bowie 
down, eight Indians on foot took after him with 
their tomahawks, and when close upon him, were 
discovered by his party, who rushed out with their 
rifles and brought down four of them — the other 
four retreating back to the main body. We then 
returned to our position, and all was still for about 
five minutes. 

We then discovered a hill to the northeast at 
the distance of sixty yards, red with Indians, who 

166 TEXAS. 

opened a heavy fire upon us with loud yells. 
Their chief, on horseback, urging them in a loud 
and audible voice to the charge, walking his 
horse perfectly composed. When we first dis- 
covered him, our guns were all empty, with the 
exception of Mr. Haram's. James Bowie cried 
out, "who is loaded?" Mn Hamm observed, "I 
am." He was then told to shoot that Indian on 
horseback. He did so, and broke his leg and kill- 
ed his horse. We now discovered him hopping 
round his horse on one leg, with his shield on his 
arm to keep off the balls. By this time four of 
our party being reloaded, fired at the same in- 
stant, and all the balls took effect through the 
shield. He fell> and was immediately surrounded 
by six or eight of his tribe, who picked him up and 
bore him off. Several of these were shot by our 
party. The whole body then retreated back of 
the hill, out of sight, with the exception of a few 
Indians who were running about from tree to tree, 
out of gun shot. 

They now covered the hill the second time 
bringing up their bowmen, who had not been in 
action before, and commenced a heavy fire with 
balls and arrows, which we returned by a well 
directed aim with our rifles. At this instant, 
another chief appeared on horseback, near the 
spot where the last one fell. The same question 
of who was loaded, was asked; the answer was 
nobody; when little Charles, the mulatto servant, 
came running up with Buchanan's rifle, which had 

TEXAS. 167 

not been discharged since he was wounded, and 
handed it to James Bowie, who instantly fired and 
brought him down from his horse. He was sur- 
rounded by six or eight of his tribe, as was the 
last, and borne off under our fire. During the 
time we were engaged in defending ourselves from 
the Indians on the hill, some fifteen or twenty of 
the Caddo tribe had succeeded in getting under 
the bank of the creek in our rear at about forty 
yards distance, and opened a heavy fire upon us, 
which wounded Matthew Doyle, the ball entering 
in the left breast and out of the back. As soon 
as he cried out he was wounded, Thomas M'Cas- 
lin hastened to the spot where he fell, and observed, 
"where is the Indian that shot Doyle." He was 
told by a more experienced hand not to venture 
there, as, from the report of their guns, they must 
be riflemen. At that instant they discovered an 
Indian, and while in the act of raising his piece, 
was shot through the centre of the body and ex- 
pired. Robert Armstrong exclaimed, "d n the 

Indian that shot M'Caslin, where is he?" He 
was told not to venture there, as they must be 
riflemen; but on discovering an Indian, and while 
bringing his gun up, he was fired at, and part of the 
stock of his gun cut off", and the ball lodged 
against the barrel. During this time our enemies 
had formed a complete circle around us, occupy- 
ing the points of rocks, scattering trees and bushes. 
The firing then became general from all quarterd. 

168 TEXAS. 

Finding our situation too much exposed among 
the trees, we were obliged to leave it, and take to 
the thickets. The first thing necessary was to dis- 
lodge the riflemen from under the bank of the 
creek, wh® were within poiht-blank shot. This 
we soon succeeded in, by shooting the most of 
them through the head, as we had the advantage 
of seeing them when they could not see us. 

The road we had cut round the thicket the night 
previous, gave us now an advantageous situation 
over that of our enemy, as we had a fair view of 
them in the prairie, while we were completely 
hid. We baffled their shots by moving six or eight 
feet the moment we had fired, as their only mark 
was the smoke of our guns. They would put 
twenty balls within the size of a pocket handker- 
chief, where they had seen the smoke. In this 
manner we fought them two hours, and had one 
man wounded, James Cornell, who was shot 
through the arm, and the ball lodged in the side, 
first cutting away a bush which prevented it from 
penetrating deeper than the size of it. 

They now discovered that we were not to be 
dislodged from the thicket, and the uncertainty of 
killing us at random shot; they suffering very much 
from the fire of our rifles, which brought half a doz- 
en down at every round. They now determined to 
resort to stratagem, by putting fire to the dry 
grass in the prairie, lor the double purpose of rout- 
ing us from our position, and, under cover of the 
smoke, to carry away their dead and wounded, 

TEXAS. 169 

which lay near us. The wind was now blowing 
from the west, and they placed the fire in that quar- 
ter, where it burnt down all the grass to the creek, 
and then bore off to the right and left, leaving around 
our position a space of about five acres that was un- 
touched by the fire. Under cover of this smoke 
they succeeded in carrying off a portion of their 
dead and wounded. In the mean time, our party 
were engaged in scraping away the dry grass 
and leaves from our wounded men and baggage to 
prevent the fire from passing over it; and likewise, 
in pulling up rocks and bushes to answer the pur- 
pose of a breastwork. 

They now discovered they had failed in routing 
us by the fire, as they had anticipated. They 
then re-occupied the points of rocks and trees in 
the prairie, and commenced another attack. The 
firing continued for some time, when the wind 
suddenly shifted to the north, and blew very hard. 
We now discovered our dangerous situation, 
should the Indians succeed in putting fire to the 
small spot which we occupied, and kept a strict 
watch all around. The two servant boys were 
employed in scraping away dry grass and leaves 
from around the baggage, and pulling up rocks and 
placing them around the wounded men. The re- 
mainder of the party were Warmly engaged with 
the enemy. The point from which the wind now 
blew being favorable to fire our position, one of 
the Indians succeeded in crawling down the creek 
and putting fire to the grass that had not yet been 

170 TEXAS. 

burnt; but before he could retreat back to his 
party, was killed by Robert Armstrong. 

At this time we saw no hopes of escape, as the 
tire was coming down rapidly before the wind, 
flaming ten feet high, and directly for the spot we 
occupied. What was to be done — we must either 
be burnt up alive, or driven into the prairie amongst 
the savages. This encouraged the Indians; and 
to make it more awful, their shouts and yells rent 
the air; they at the same time firing upon us about 
twenty shots a minute. As soon as the smoke hid 
us from their view, we collected together, and held 
a consultation as to what was best to be done. 
Our first impression was, that they might charge 
on us under cover of the smoke, as we could make 
but one effectual fire — the sparks were flying 
about so thickly that no man could open his pow- 
der horn without running the risk of being blown 
up. However we finally came to a determination, 
had they charged us, to give them one fire, 
place our backs together, and draw our knives, 
and fight them as long as any one of us was left 
alive. The next question was, should they not 
charge us, and we retain our position, we must 
be burnt up. It was then decided that each man 
should take care of himself as well as he could, 
until the fire arrived at the ring around our bag- 
gage and wounded men, and there it should be 
smothered with buffalo robes, bear skins, deer 
skins, and blankets, which, after a great deal of 
exertion, we succeeded in doing. 

TEXAS. 171 

Our thicket being so much burnt and scorched, 
that it afforded us little or no shelter, we all got 
into the ring that was made round our wounded 
men and baggage, and commenced building our 
breastwork higher, with tne loose rocks from the 
inside, and dirt dug up with our knives and sticks. 
During this last lire, the Indians had succeeded in 
removing all their killed and wounded which lay 
near us. It was now sundown, and we had been 
warmly engaged with the Indians since sunrise, a 
period of thirteen hours; and they seeing us still 
alive and ready for fight, drew off at a distance of 
three hundred yards, and encamped for the night 
with their dead and wounded. Our party now 
commenced to work in raising our fortification 
higher, and succeeded in getting it breast high by 
10 P. M. We now filled all our vessels and 
skins with water, expecting another attack the 
next morning. We could distinctly hear the In- 
dians, nearly all night, crying over their dead, 
which is their custom; and at daylight, they shot a 
wounded chief — it being also a custom to shoot any 
of their tribe that are mortally wounded. They, 
after that, set out with their dead and wounded to 
a mountain about a mile distant, where they de- 
posited their dead in a cave on the side of it. At 
eight in the morning, two of the party went out 
from the fortification to the encampment, where 
the Indians had lain the night previous, and count- 
ed forty-eight bloody spots on the grass where 
the dead and wounded had been lying, As near 

172 TEXAS. 

as we could judge, their loss must havo been forty 
killed and thirty wounded.* 

Finding ourselves much cut up, having one 
man killed, and three wounded — five horses 
killed, and three wounded- — we recommenced 
strengthening our little fort, and continued our 
labors until 1 P. M., when the arrival of thirteen 
Indians drew us into our fort again. As soon as 
they discovered we were still there and ready for 
action and well fortified, they put off. We after 
that remained in our fort eight days, recruiting 
our wounded men and horses; at the expiration of 
which time, being all in pretty good order, we 
set out on our return to San Antonio de Bexar. 
We left the fort at dark, and travelled all night 
and next day until afternoon, when we picked out 
an advantageous spot and fortified ourselves, 
where we remained two days expecting the In- 
dians would again, when recruited, follow our 
trail; but, however, we saw nothing more of 

David Buchanan's wounded leg here mortified, 
and having no surgical instruments, or medicine 
of any kind, not even a dose of salts,, we boiled 
some live-oak bark very strong, and thickened it 
with pounded charcoal and Indian meal, made a 
poultice of it, and tied it around his leg, over which 
we sewed a buffalo skin, and travelled along five 

* We afterwards learned from the Comanche Indians thai 
their losswas eighty-two in killed and wounded. 

TEXAS. 173 

days without looking at it; when it was opened, 
it was in a fair way for healing, which it finally did, 
and the mortified parts had all dropped off, and his 
leg now is as well as ever it was. There was none 
of the party but had his skin cut in several 
places, and numerous shot holes through his 

On the twelfth day we arrived in good order, 
with our wounded men and horses, at San Antonio 
de Bexar. 




However we may be disposed to cavil at the 
idea of natural religion, no one can enter the great 
Temple not made with hands, and never profaned 
by the metaphysics of man, such as we find in the 
Gothic-arched forests and Heaven-roofed prairies 
of Texas, without a profound and elevated devo- 
tion. Every one feels powerfully the presence of 
that great and good Being who made him and the 
world of beauty around him. He needs no priest 
to tell him how to hold communion with his Crea- 
tor and lift his soul to the source of life. He feels 
the universal presence — he feels his own insigni- 
ficance, and is ever ready to exclaim with the 
Psalmist, "Lord, what is man that thou art mind- 
ful of him? &c. 

Gen. Austin relates of individuals of the first 
emigrants he took to Texas who strayed from the 
camp then surrounded by Indians, that after some 
days they were found deeply absorbed in religious 
emotions, and giving vent to their feelings in the 
wildest expressions of enthusiasm, or remaining 
prostrate for hours in fervent devotion and grateful 
joy, and, in most cases, the character was radical- 

176 TEXAS. 

\y changed, especially when it had been notoriously 

In comparing this pure and spiritual religion 
with those forms which fill communities with 
wrangling; and in view of the terrible persecu- 
tions w 7 hich, from time to time, have devastated 
the world and torn asunder the sacred ties of 
society, one acquires sufficient reverence for that 
influence which cometh from above and speaketh 
directly to the heart of man — which cannot lie; 
and does not much wonder at the questions some- 
times put, whether religion, or that which, under 
this semblance, is any thing but a spirit of peace, 
has not been the source of as much evil as good 
in the world? True, such is not pure and unde- 
fined religion. Where does it exist in purity f Each 
champion exclaims it is here — it is here — and 
turns to fight his adversary to prove that he has 
it. The United States is professedly a land of tol- 
eration, boasting superior intelligence; yet within 
the year, a young man has been dismissed from 
one of her colleges* on account of opinion: 
and where does not sectarism prevail—where do 
people agree, to differ? 

Texas was not, like New England, settled by 
Puritans flying from persecution. It was, how- 
ever, settled by men who knew the value of free- 
dom of conscience as well as of civil liberty. 
They accepted lands from the Mexican govern- 

• Kenyon, Ohio. 

TEXAS. 177 

ment on condition of becoming nominal Catholics, 
as the members of the British government pledge 
themselves to be good Episcopalians, and though 
not Romans, they were so far Catholic as not to 
contend for points of faith, and had sense enough 
not to quarrel about forms and technics, when 
they knew that more liberal views were dawning 
in Mexico in religion as well as government — that 
they were only in advance of, and had but to re- 
main quiet and wait the progress of opinion there. 
They also knew that for them the best creed was 
the familiar one — general enough surely to offend 
no one — Be good and mind your work. But for 
Santa Anna and Centralism, the event would have 
proved how wise was this policy. 

The introduction of protestant preachers was 
contrary to law, and had it not been so, the con- 
tests of sectarians would have destroyed the coun- 
try. Hence all have been silent on the subject of 
religion, and there is not to this day a church in 
the colonies. 

Some have objected to Texas — it is no place for 
them — there is no religion there. With their bibles 
in their hands, can they not carry their religion 
in their hearts, and act it out in their lives, where 
there are none to molest or make them afraid? 
Can they be insensible to the profusion of good 
things which Heaven, as by a miracle, spreads out 
before them — to the beautiful visions, and the still 
voice which cries, Rise Peter; kill, and eat? 

178 TEXAS. 

There are in Texas as every where, some who 
evade all law and scout at all religion — some who 
found in the hitherto existing laws a sanction for 
their sinister designs. There were others who, 
having witnessed the abuses of all systems, were 
ready to condemn the whole, or to find in them but 
the sources of ridicule. Once or twice the farce 
was practised upon them of a Mexican Padre, 
going the rounds of the colonies to unite in law- 
ful wedlock young couples with blooming families 
to assist at the nuptials, proclaiming his infallible 
decree, that no other form of marriage was sanc- 
tioned by high Heaven. On these occasions, large 
neighborhoods were collected to make a wholesale 
business and a frolic of it, in which his Holiness 
freely participated, carrying oft" considerable booty 
in the form of Jees. Many of these priests, it is 
well known, have little faith in the doctrines they 
preach, and much less disposition to practice the 
rules they lay down for others. Conversations 
like the following, exhibiting in a strong point 
of view the sort of faith to be derived from their 
Mexican friends, were not uncommon among the 

"An intelligent and liberal priest who had be- 
come rich enough by plundering the people in the 
name of, and for the love of Christ, to leave off 
his trade, and attend to politics and his vices, said 
to one of the colonists, you must not expect to see 
this country reduced to the state of order and pro- 
priety which you have in the United States - you 

TEXAS. 179 

must consider that at the time of your revolution, 
the people of the United States were, what they 
are now, an educated, intelligent people, accustom- 
ed to elective government, with their State legis 
latures already formed, and their religious institu- 
tions established with toleration of all sects. The 
people of this country, on the contrary, were con- 
quered by our forefathers in the name of God, and 
all manner of error taught them as the Christian 
religion, for tho purpose of more conveniently en- 
slaving and governing them. They have been 
taught, that to fear and worship the priests and 
offer up their worldly treasures to Goci through 
them, the special agents of Christ, his Son, is the 
only way to save their bodies from the stake in 
this world, and their souls from damnation in the 
next. Now we have to unteach them all this er- 
ror before they can be fit to receive rational in- 

Fanatical Protestants, on the contrary, insinuat- 
ed themselves stealthily through the country to 
spy out the land, or for purposes they best knew, 
holding forth in secret places, and under all the 
odium which belongs to clandestine movements. 
One of these was about to be quartered on Mr. 

, who hearing of his approach went over the 

prairie to meet him with a welcome, assuring him 
that his wife, a pious lady, would be much edified 
by his spiritual conversation and prayers. He 
then led him into his cottage, and presented him 
to his wife (who, though a sensible woman, made 

180 TEXAS. 

no pretensions to extra saintship,) with, "my dear, 
this holy man will pass a few days with us in 
prayer and devotional exercises for your express 
benefit." She looked all sorts of reproofs at her 
waggish husband, for she had no chance to speak 
them, and which he heeded not, leaving her to 
support her new character, and arrange her house- 
hold to the tax of a new guest, to whom it was 
necessary to yield whatever of comfortable ac- 
commodations they had about them, as best she 
could. This was a standing joke which he told 
with infinite merriment upon his wife, who. to her 
honor be it said, bore it with great good na- 

Such anecdotes illustrate, better than dry dis- 
cussions could, the state of religion in Texas. 
They show why the intellectual, the high-minded, 
and the really pious portions of the community — 
those who give tone to public sentiment and man- 
age affairs of state have hitherto preserved an 
exact neutrality. The law requiring the test of 
Catholicism was abrogated by the legislature of 
Coahuila and Texas in 1834, but was to have been 
restored with all the other evils of Centralism. 
The God of battles has heard the prayers of the 
oppressed, though uttered by unconsecrated lipsi 
under the spacious firmament of Heaven, and 
those evils have been averied.. The righteous 


religion- — shall prosper. Such is the cause of 
Texas. All they contend for, is the right of sell- 

TEXAS. 181 

government, and of worshipping God according 
to the dictates of their conscience — the end and 
aim of all true patriots. 

By the 10th ariicle of the Law of the State of 
Coahuila and Texas, passed the 26th of March, 
1834, it is declared that no person shall he molest- 
ed on account of his religious or political opinions, 
provided he does not disturb the public order. 

The colonists are equally opposed to a Catholic 
or Protestant Inquisition. And this, surely, can- 
not militate against the followers of the meek and 
lowly Jesus, who, with their bibles in their hands, 
can set up their Ebenezers at the family fireside, 
until, in the providence of God, they shall be en- 
abled to worship him in a more public manner. 
Until this can be, the pious and devoted Christian 
can carry his religion in his heart, a tabernacle 
not consecrated with earthly hands, and glorify 
his God by letting his light shine before men in 
works of mercy and of love, and in the display of 
all the christian virtues. 

Religious, social, and political institutions are 
yet nascent in Texas. It will be interesting to 
watch their awakening and growing energies. If 
nothing has been done, nothing is to be undone. 
Strong circumstances have drawn together as by 
a single impulse, strong characters, and developed 
in them noble qualities. Men born and bred un- 
der free institutions, who have never breathed but 
the breath of freedom, with a model to imitate and 
improve upon, are bound together by a common 

182 TEXAS. 

interest — a common feeling. They have that 
to do which will employ the noblest faculties of 
their nature to the suppression of every vice and 
selfish feeling — the forming of a great and free 
State. The elements are already collected, and 
with the Divine blessing will surely work together 
for good. 

Whether we draw an analogy from nature, 
where promiscuous atoms of matter obeying the 
laws of their several affinities arrange themselves 
into perfect and beautiful combinations, or from 
art, where, of rude materials carelessly thrown 
together, each part is nicely adjusted to its proper 
place and condition in a uniform whole, we may 
safely predict a high standing for Texas, whose 
materials of greatness are abundant, and need 
only some plastir. hand to give them form. We 
see in her a new republic growing up like a young 
girl by the side of her yet blooming mother — a 
lovely scion from the parent stock. 


Money— Banks— Mail Establishments. 

Specie has heretofore been the current mo- 
ney of Texas; there being no banks formerly 
established in the country, no such thing as 
paper money could be found. The greatest part 
of the silver coin was of the description called 
provincial or hammered and sand dollars ; — a coin 
of the Revolution made by the Mexican patriots, 
before they obtained possession of any of the 
mints. This coin circulates at par in the States of 
Coahuila and Texas, and in the other Eastern 
Mexican States: but is received at a discount of 
8 or 9 per cent, in the Banks of New Orleans, and 
other parts of the United States. This produces 
a rate of exchange highly favorable to the emi- 
grants; for merchants who have remittances to 
make to the United States, always prefer exchang- 
ing their provincial money, at the discount, for Unit- 
ed States' bills, gold coin, or standard silver dol- 
lars. Several emigrants have found the difference 
of exchange sufficient to defray all the expenses 
of their passage to the country. 

184 TEXA8. 

This description of coin, however, cannot now 
be said to form the current money of Texas. Her 
intercourse with the Southern United States has 
not only furnished her with the American, Span- 
ish and other coins current there, but has rendered 
their paper money, both of the United States and 
of local State banks, quite common. 

On the 1st day of April, 1835, the Legisla- 
ture of the State of Coahuila and Texas chartered 
a Banking Institution for the Department of Bra- 
zos, with permission to establish branches in any 
part of the State; — the capital, one million of 
dollars, to be secured by mortgage on real estate: 
we subjoin here its charter as decreed by the Con- 
gress of Coahuila and Texas. 

Art. 1. There is hereby granted the establish- 
ment of a Bank in the Department of Brazos, 
which shall be denominated the Bank of Commerce 
and Agriculture. The citizen, Samuel M. Wil- 
liams, as Empresario, shall take measures for its 

Art. 2. The capital of said Bank shall not ex- 
ceed one million of dollars divided into ten thou- 
sand shares of one hundred dollars each. 

Art. 3. Subscribers to the amount of at least 
three thousand shares having been obtained, the 
Empresario shall call a meeting of the stockhold- 
ers, who shall proceed to the election of eight Di- 
rectors, who shall appoint a President from among 
themselves, and shall discharge the duties of their 
office for one year. 

TEXAS. 185 

Art. 4. To obtain the office of Director, it is 
required to be a citizen of the State and the owner 
of at least five shares. 

Art. 5. The votes shall be counted at the rate 
of one for each share, but no one stockholder shall 
have more than fifty suffrages, no matter how many 
shares he may own. Those who are absent may 
vote by proxy. 

Art. 6. The Directors shall be rewarded an- 
nually, and the convocation for this purpose shall 
be forty-five days previous to the expiration of 
their term of office, and the election for the Direc- 
tors shall be held eight days before the expiration 
of the current year. 

Art. 7. The Directory shall form by-laws for 
the management of all the concerns of the com- 

Art. 8. The Bills which may be issued by the 
Bank, shall be signed by the President and Cashier: 
the name of the company and the capital of the 
Bank shall be responsible for the payment of said 
bills. The Bank can sue and be sued. 

Art. 9. For the encouragement of commerce, 
the arts and industry, the Bank can make loans at 
the rate of eight per cent, per annum, when the 
term of the loan does not exceed six months, 
and ten over that term, exacting from the bor- 
rower the necessary security. 

Art. 10. The stockholders shall give security 
by a lien upon real estate in the Republic to the 
amount of their several shares, and as soon as one 

186 TEXAS. 

hundred thousand dollars, at least, shall have been 
paid into the vaults of the Bank, it may commence 
operations, after previous examination made by a 
commissioner, whom the government shall appoint, 
and who shall likewise make an annual report of 
the affairs of the company. 

Art. 11. The duration of this Bank shall be 
for twenty years, and may establish branches in 
any part of the State. 

The plates of the notes have been executed 
by Messrs. Tappan & Co. of Philadelphia, with 
handsome and appropriate vignettes, and, in order 
to prevent counterfeits, they have been made of 
steel. It is hardly necessary to attempt the pro- 
duction of argument in favor of the immense 
importance of such an institution, and the ben- 
efit to be derived from it by the new government 
of Texas and the inhabitants. Let him that doubts 
it only turn his eyes to the United States, and 
view the vast amount of wealth, the advancement 
of the arts and sciences, the increase of commerce 
and agriculture — all owing their rise, progress and 
security to the facilities afforded by the banking 
capital of the nation; without which all of these 
objects and pursuits must have remained for years 
to come, in comparative insignificance. Again, 
we have only to advert to the history of the old 
Continental money, to find the fruitful sources of 
those difficulties, that so often surrounded the 
heroes of '76, in their struggle for independence. 
Can the government of Texas hope to be more 

TEXAS. 187 

fortunate, without an institution from which it 
may receive facilities? Can Congress hope to 
issue a similar currency, that will share a better 
fate than the old Continental money ? And can 
they hope to find in time of their greatest need a 
Robert Morris? It is necessary that there should 
be an institution sustained by a sound and well di- 
rected individual enterprise, to redeem for the 
government its loans, and such certificates or 
notes as the government may be compelled to 
issue, redeemable at some future period; because 
it is not to be presumed that the citizen, much less 
the soidier, can wait five or more years for the re- 
demption in money of a note. The result will be 
that so soon as they become possessed of such 
paper, they will offer it for sale at a discount; and, 
by commencing at a small per cent, of discount, it 
will be found in a short time, that four or five dol- 
lars will be offered for one dollar in good currency, 
and, perhaps, ten or twenty even for one. All 
this may be saved to the holder, and the charac- 
ter and credit of the government be preserved. 
For the local bank can make arrangements with 
the government to redeem them, and, as the trea- 
sury certificates will bear an annual interest, the 
bank can hold them when an individual could not 
do it. Then the commercial and agricultural in- 
terest must be vastly benefitted by the facilities 
which the bank will be able to afford to merchants 
and planters; and, in fact, a new life, new vigor 
and action will be given to every branch of in- 

188 TEXAS. 

dustry in Texas. In addition to this, the conse- 
quence and importance of the State and confi- 
dence in her commercial transactions' abroad will 
be signally promoted. 

Roads. — It has been noticed in a former chapter, 
that the roads marked out on the map are merely 
routes to direct the traveller in his journeyings. 
Notwithstanding this, however, so even and regular 
is the surface of the country, that travelling is al- 
ways easy and pleasant, and the same labor is not 
required to be expended in the construction of a 
good road, which is demanded by the uneven and 
broken surface of our Western States. 

So truly inviting are the facilities offered, that 
we do not hesitate to believe, that the rail-way 
will be the common road in use, a few years hence, 
in Texas. At present there are not more than 
one or two roads, properly so called, in the 

Mail Establishment. 
The genera] council of Texas, in session last 
fall at San Felipe, taking into consideration the 
necessity of having facilities of communication es- 
tablished throughout the country, accordingly or- 
ganized a Post Office Department and appointed 
a Postmaster General, under whose directions the 
following mail routes have been established. 

No. 1. From San Felipe de Austin, by White- 
sides' in Cole's Settlement, Washington, Fantharp's 
and Sim's, to Robbin's, on the Trinity river, 118 
miles, weekly. 

TEXAS. 189 

Leave San Felipe, every Sunday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Robbin's every Tuesday, at 
7 o'clock, P. M. 

Leave Robbin's, every Wednesday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at San Felipe every Friday, at 
7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 2. From Robbins, by Albridges, Masters, 
and Williams, to Nacogdoches, 110 miles, weekly 
Leave Robbin's, every Wednesday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Nacogdoches on Friday, at 
7 o'clock, P. M. 

Leave Nacogdoches, every Saturday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at Robbins' every Mon- 
day, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 3. From Nacogdoches, by Steddams, San 
Augustine, and Robinson's, to Gaines's, on the 
Sabine river, 63 miles, weekly. 

Leave Nacogdoches, every Saturday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at Gaines's the next day, 
at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

Leave Gaines's, every Monday, at 7 o'clock, A. 
M., and arrive at Nacogdoches, every Tuesday, at 
7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 4. From San Felipe, by Fort Bend, Oro 
zimbo, Columbia, and Brazoria, to Velasco, 98 
miles, weekly. 

Leave San Felipe every Sunday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Yelasco, every Tuesday, at 

6 o'clock, P. M. 

Leave Velasco, every Tuesday, at 1 o'clock, 
P. M., and arrive at San Felipe, every Friday, at 

7 o'clock, P. M. 

190 TEXAS. 

No. 5. From San Felipe, by Hunter's, Harris- 
burg, and Lynchburg, to Liberty, 107 miles, 

Leave San Felipe, every Sunday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Liberty, the next Tuesday, at 
7 o'clock, P. M. 

Leave Liberty, every Wednesday at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at San Felipe the next Friday, 
at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 6. From Liberty, by Beaumont on the 
Neches, and Cow Bayou, to Culcasiu, U. S. 107 
miles, weekly. 

Leave Liberty, every Wednesday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Culcasiu everv Friday, at 7 
o'clock, P. M. 

Leave Culcasiu, every Saturday, at 7 o'clock, A. 
M. and arrive at Liberty the next Monday, at 7 
o'clock, P. M. 

Route No. 6. will be continued as above adver- 
tised, until a mail is carried by the United States 
Government, from Culcasiu to the Sabine river, 
when it will be discontinued between these two 
points, which, when done, will lessen the distance 
the mail has to be carried on this route. 

No. 7. From Jefferson, by Chambersburg and 
Zavala, to San Augustin, 122 miles, once in two 

To leave Jefferson on Thursday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at San Augustin the following 
Saturday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

TEXAS. 191 

To leave San Augustin on Sunday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Jefferson on Tuesday follow- 
ing, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 8. From Whitesides, by Tenoxtitlan and 
New Nashville to Viesca, 85 miles, once in two 

To leave Viesca on Friday, at 7 o'clock, A. M. 
and arrive at Whiteside's the next Sunday, at 7 
o'clock, P. M. 

No. 9. From San Felipe, by Mercer's and Tex- 
ana to Victoria, 100 miles, once in two weeks. 

To leave San Felipe every other Monday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at Victoria the next 
Wednesday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

To leave Victoria every other Thursday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M. and arrive at San Felipe the next 
Saturday at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 10. From Victoria, by Goliad and Refugio, 
to San Patricio, 100 miles, once in two weeks. 

To leave Victoria every other Thursday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M. and arrive at San Patricio, the next 
Saturday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

To leave San Patricio every other Sunday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at Victoria the next 
Tuesday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 11. From San Felipe, by Phillips' and 
Cook's Island, to Matagorda, 90 miles, weekly. 

To leave San Felipe every Sunday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Matagorda every Wednes- 
dav, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

192 TEXAS. 

To leave Matagorda every Thursday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at San Felipe the next 
Saturday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 1 2. From San Felipe, by Wade's, Gotier's 
Eblin's, and Burleson's, to Mina, 90 miles, once in 
two weeks. 

To leave San Felipe every other Monday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at Mina, the next Wed- 
nesday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

To leave Mina every other Thursday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at San Felipe the next 
Saturday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 13. From San Felipe, by Season's and 

Daniel's, to Gonzales, 90 miles, once in two weeks. 

To leave San Felipe every other Monday, at 7 

o'clock, A. M. and arrive at Gonzales the next 

Wednesday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

To leave Gonzales on Thursday, the day after 
the arrival of the mail from San Felipe, and arrive 
at the latter place next Saturday, at 7 o'clock, 
P. M. 

No. 14. From Gonzales, by Sandie's and Cibolo, 
to Bejar, 76 miles, once in two weeks. 

To leave Gonzales every other Thursday, at 7 
o'clock, A. M., and arrive at Bejar the next Sat- 
urday, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

To leave Bejar every other Sunday, at 7 o'clock, 
A. M., and arrive at Gonzales the next Tuesday, 
at 7 o'clock, P. M. 

No. 15. From Bejar to Goliad, 90 miles, once 
in two weeks. 

TEXAS. 193 

No. 15. From Bejar to Goliad, 90 miles, once 
in two weeks. 

To leave Bejar every other Sunday at 7 o'clock. 
A. M., and arrive at Goliad the next Tuesday, at 7 
o'clock, P. M. 

To leave Goliad every other Friday, next fol- 
lowing the arrival of the mail from Bejar, and ar- 
rive at the latter place the next Sunday, at 7 
o'clock, P.M. 

Though there are many rivers navigable for 
steamboats, the Brazos alone is visited by them; 
several steam vessels regularly navigate its waters 
for the purposes of commerce. Unfortunately, 
notwithstanding the precautions taken to avoid 
accidents, serious injury sometimes happens to 
vessels in crossing the bar, at the mouth of the 
river. This obstacle, however, we are assured, 
will not long exist; and, had it not been for the 
occurrence of the present war, would probably 
have been removed by this time. 


Colonisation— Ernpresarios — Titles^-Proportion of land taken. 

While under the Spanish dominion, the frontier 
provinces of Mexico were left in complete neg- 
lect; or, rather, with watchful vigilance were kept 
in their wild, uncultivated state. Not only were 
foreigners absolutely prohibited from settling in 
their territory, but even Mexicans themselves 
were discouraged from occupying these lands. It 
seemed as if the jealous Spaniard was anxious to 
avoid contact with the free spirits and republican 
principles of the Anglo-Americans, and would wil- 
lingly have retained the broad forests and desert 
prairies of his border territories, as an impassable 
barrier to the two nations. When Mexico, how- 
ever, threw off the yoke of transatlantic despotism 
under which she had so long groaned, and finally 
dissolved all political connexion with Spain, in the 
general prevalence and triumph of Republican 
principles, she assumed a more liberal course of 
policy; and, in imitation of the bright example of 
the United States, passed laws for the distribution 
of the uninhabited tracts of her territory, among 
such citizens and foreigners as should choose to 

196 TEXAS. 

occupy them. Under these laws, large sections 
of country have been granted to Empresarios or 
contractors, for the settlement of a population in 
Texas; and many have embarked in it, induced > 
no doubt, by the signal success of that indefatiga- 
ble Empresario, Genl. Austin, to whom Texas 
owes a debt which she can never repays for her 
present prosperity, nay, her very existence, is the 
happy fruit of his unremitting toils and noble exer- 
tions in behalf of his colony. 

Free and extensive colonization has formed the 
undeviating policy of every administration of the 
Mexican Government, from the reign of the Empe- 
ror Augustin, the notorious Iturbide, down to the 
present time: and that still greater facilities will 
be offered by the Independent State of Texas, we 
do not for a moment doubt. That the progress of 
colonization and its facilities may be better under- 
stood, as well as the nature of Empresario con- 
tracts, and the titles of settlers, we shall proceed 
to give a translation of the different laws of the 
general and state Governments, in regard to colo- 
nization. We shall afterwards present a summary 
of intelligence in reference to the settlement of 
lands and security of titles, such as we deem use- 
ful in the present juncture of affairs^ 

Colonization Law of 1823. 

"AUGUSTIN, by Divine Providence, and by the Congress 

of the Nation, 1st Constitutional Emperor of Mexico', 

and Grand Master of the Imperial Order of Ganda- 

loupe;— To all who shall see these presents, Know Ye - 

TEXAS. 197 

That the Junta Nacional Instituyente of the Mexican 
Empire, has decreed, and we sanction the following: — 
"The Junta Nacional Instituyente of the Mexican Em- 
pire, being convinced by the urgent recommendations of 
the government, of the necessity and importance of giving 
to the empire a general law of colonization, have thought 
proper to decree as follows. 

"Art. 1. The government of the Mexican nation will 
protect the iiberty, property, and civil rights of all foreign- 
ers, who profess the Roman Catholic apostolic religion, 
the established religion of the empire. 

"Art. 2. To facilitate their establishment, the execu- 
tive will distribute lands to them, under the conditions 
and terms hereiu expressed. 

"Art, 3. The empresarios, by whom is understood 
those who introduce at least two hundred families* shall 
previously contract with the executive, and inform ii what 
fcranch of industry they propose to follow, the properly or 
resources they intend to introduce for that purpose; and 
any other particulars they may deem necessary, in order 
that with this necessary information, the executivo may 
designate the province to which they must direct them- 
selves; the lands which they can occupy with the right of 
property, and the other circumstances which may be con- 
sidered necessary. 

"Art. 4. Families who emigrate, not included in a con- 
tract, shall immediately present themselves to the Ayun- 
tamiento of the place where they wish to settle, in order 
that this body, ia conformity with the instructions of the 
executive, may designate the lands corresponding to them, 
agreeably to the industry which they may establish. 

"Art. 5. The measurement of land shall be the follow- 
ing—establishing the vara, at three geometrical feet, a 
straight line of five thousand varus shall be a league; a 
square, each of whose sides, shall be one league, shall be 
called a sitio; and this shall be the unity of couotinir one 
17* * 

198 TEXAS. 

two, or more silios; five sitioa shall compose one ha- 

"Art. 6. Id the distribution made by government, of 
lands to the colonists, for the formation of villages, towns, 
cities and provinces, a distinction shall be made between 
grazing lands, destined for the raising of stock, and lands 
suitable for farming, or planting, on account of the facility 
of irrigation. 

"Art. 7. One labor,, shall be composed of one million 
square varas, that is to say, one thousand varas on each 
side, which measurement shall be the unity for counting 
one, two, or more labors. These labors can be divided 
into halves and quarters, but not less. 

"Art. 8. To the colonists whose occupation is farming, 
there cannot be given less than one labor, and those whose 
occupation is stock raising there cannot be given less 
than one sitio. 

"Art. 9. The government of itself, or by means of the 
authorities authorized for that purpose, can augment said 
portions of land as may be deemed proper, agreeably to 
the conditions and circumstances of the colonists. 

"Art. 10. Establishments made under the former gov- 
ernment which are now pending, shall be regulated by 
this law in all matters that may occur, but those that are 
finished shall remain in that state. 

"Art. 11. As one of the principal objects of laws in 
free governments, ought to be to approximate, so far as 
is possible, to an equal distribution of property, the gov- 
ernment taking into consideration the provisions of this 
law, will adopt measures for dividing out the lands, which 
may have accumulated in large portions, in the hands of 
individuals or corporations, and which are not cultivated, 
indemnifying the proprietors, for the just price of such 
lands to bo fixed by appraisers. 

"Art. 12. The union of many families at one place, 
shall be called a village, town, or city, agreeably to the 

TEXAS. 199 

number of its inhabitants, its extension locality, and other 
circumstances which may characterize it, in conformity 
with the law on that subject. The same regulations for 
its internal government and police, shall be observed as 
in the others of the same class in the empire. 

"Art. 13. Care shall be taken in the formation of said 
new towns, that, so far as the situation of the ground will 
permit, the streets shall be laid off straight, running north 
and south, east and west. 

"Art. 14. Provinces shall be formed whose superficies 
shall be six thousand square leagues. 

"Art. 15. As soon as a sufficient number of families 
may be united to form one or more towns, their local gov- 
ernment shall be regulated, and the constitutional Ayun- 
tamienlos and other local establishments formed in con- 
formity with the laws. 

"Art. 16. The government shall take care, in accord 
with the respective ecclesiastical authority, that these 
new towns are provided with a sufficient number of spirit- 
ual pastors, and in like manner, it will propose to con- 
gress a plan for their decent support. 

"Art. 17. In the distribution of lands forsettlement 
among the different provinces, the government shall take 
care, that the colonists shall be located in those, which it 
may consider the most important to settle. As a general 
rule, the colonists who arrive first, shall have the prefer- 
ence in the selection of land. 

"Art. 18. Natives of the country shall have a prefer- 
ence in the distribution of land; and particularly the mil- 
itary of the army, of the three guarantees, in conformity 
with the decree of the 27th of March, 1821; and also those 
who served in the first epoch of the insurrection. 

"Art. 19. To each Empresario, who introduces and 
establishes families in any of the provinces designated for 
colonization, there shall be granted at the rate of three 
haciendas and two labors, for each two hundred families 

200 TEXAS. 

so introduced by him, but lie will lose the right of prop- 
erly, over said lands, should he not have populated and 
cultivated them in twelve years from the dale of the con- 
cession. The premium cannot exceed nine haciendas, 
and six labors, whatever may be the number of families be 

"Art. 20. At the end of twenty years the proprietors 
of the lands, acquired in virtue of the foregoing article, 
must alienate two thirds part of said lands, either by sale, 
donation, or in any other manner he pleases. The law 
authorizes him to hold in full property and dominion one 
third part. 

"Art. 21. The two foregoing articles are to be under- 
stood as governing the contracts made within six months, 
as after that time, counting from the day of the promulga- 
tion of this law, the executive can diminish the premium 
as it may deem proper, giving an account thereof to con- 
gress, with such information as may be deemed necessary. 

"Art. 22. The dale of the concession for lands con- 
stitutes an inviolable law, for the right of property and 
legal ownership; should any one through error or by sub- 
sequent concession occupy land belonging to another, he 
shall have no right to it, further than a preference in case 
of sale, at the current price. 

"Art. 23. If after two years from the date of the con- 
cession, the colonist should not have cultivated his land, 
the right of properly shall be considered as renounced; 
in which case, the respective Ayuntamiento can grant 
it to another. 

"Art. 24. During the first six years from the date of 
the concession, the colonists shall not pay tithes, duties 
on their produce, nor any contribution under whatever 
name it may be called. 

"Art. 25. The next six years from the same date, they 
shall pay half tithes and the half of the contributions 
whether direct or indirect, that are paid by the other cit- 

TEXAS. 201 

izem of the empire. After this time, they shall in all 
things relating to taxes and contributions, be placed on 
the same footing with the other citizens. 

"Art. 26. All the instruments of husbandry, machine- 
ry, and other utensils, that are introduced by the colonists 
for their use, at the time of their coming to the empire, 
shall be free, as also the merchandise introduced by each 
family, to the amount of two thousand dollars. 

"Art. 27. All foreigners who Come to«establish them- 
selves in the empire, shall be considered as naturalized, 
should they exercise any useful profession or industry by 
which, at the end o( three years, they have a capital to 
support themselves with decency, and are married. Those 
who with the foregoing qualifications marry Mexicans, 
will acquire particular merit for the obtaining letters of 

"Art. 28. Congress will grant letters of citizenship to 
those who solicit them in conformity with the constitution 
of the empire. 

"Art. 29. Every individual shall be free to leave the 
empire, and can alienate the lands over which he may 
have acquired the right of property, agreeably to the ten- 
or of this law, and he can likewise take away from the 
country al! his property, by paying the duties established 
by law. 

"Art. 30. After the publication of this law, there can 
be no sale or purchase of slaves which may be introduced 
into the empire. The children of slaves born in the em- 
pire, shall be free at fourteen years of age. 

"Art. 31. All foreigners who may have established 
themselves in any of the provinces of the empire, under a 
permission of the former government, will remain on the 
lands which they may have occupied, being governed by 
the tenor of this law, in the distribution of said lands. 

"Art. 32. The executive, as it may conceive necessa- 
ry, will sell or lease the lands, which on account of their 

202 TEXAS. 

local situation, may be the most important, being govern- 
ed with respect to all others, by the provisions of this law. 

"This law shall be presented to his Imperial Majesty, 
for his sanction, publication and fulfilment. — Mexico, 3d 
January, 1823 — 3d of the independence of the empire.— 
Juan Francisco, Bishop of Dnrango, President. — Antonio 
de Mier, Member and Secretary. — Juan Batislade Arispe, 
Member and Secretary. 

"Therefore, we order all tribunals, Judges, Chiefs, Gov- 
ernors, and all other authorities, as well civil, as military, 
and ecclesiastical, of whatever class or dignity they may 
be, to comply with this decree, and cause it to be corn- 
plied with, in all its parts, and you will cause it to be 
printed, published, and circulated. Given in Mexico, 4th 
January, 1823. Signed by the Emperor. To Don Jose 
Manuel de Herrera, Minister of Interior and Exterior 

National Colonization Law. 

"The Supreme Executive Power, provisionally appointed 

by the General Sovereign Constituent Congress — To 

all who shall see and understand these presents; Know 

Ye — That the said Congress, has decreed as follows: — 

"Art. 1. The Mexican nation offers to foreigners, who 

come to establish themselves within its territory, security 

for their persons and properly, provided they subject 

themselves to the laws of the country. 

"Art. 2. Tin's law comprehends those lands of the na- 
tion, not the property of individuals, corporations, or 
towns, which can be colonized. 

"Art. 3. For this purpose the Legislatures of all the 
States will, as soon as possible, form colonization laws, or 
regulations for their respective states, conforming them- 
selves in all things to the constitutional act, general con- 
stitution, aud the regulations established in this law. 

TEXAS. 203 

"Art. 4. There cannot be colonized any lands com- 
prehended within twenty leagues of the limits of any for- 
eign nation, nor within ten leagues of the coasts, without 
the previous approbation of the general supreme executive 

"Art. 5. If for the defence and security of the nation, 
the federal government should deem it necessary to use 
any portion of these lands, for the construction of ware- 
houses, arsenals, or other public edifices, they can do so, 
with the approbation of the general congress, or in its re- 
cess, of the council of government. 

"Art. 6. Until after four years from the publication 
of this law, there shall not be imposed any tax whatever, 
on the entrance of the persons of foreigners, who come to 
establish themselves for the first time in the nation. 

"Art. 7. Until after the year 1840, the general con- 
gress shall not prohibit the entrance of any foreigner, as 
a colonist, unless imperious circumstances should require 
it, with respect to the individuals of a particular nation. 

"Art. 8. The government, without prejudicing the ob- 
jects of this law. shall take such precautionary measures 
as it may deem expedient, for the security of the confede- 
ration, as respects the foreigners who come to colonize. 

"Art 9. A preference shall be given in the distribu- 
tion of lands, to Mexican citizens, and no other distinc- 
tion shall be made in regard to them except that which is 
founded on individual merit, or services rendered tike 
country, or under equal circumstances, a residence in the 
place where the lands to be distributed are situated. 

"Art. 10. The military who in virtue of the offer made 
on the 27th March, 1821, have a right to lands, shall be 
attended to by the states, in conformity with the diplomas 
which are issued to that effect, by the supreme executive 

"Art. 11. If in virtue of the decree alluded to in the 
last article, and taking into view the probabilities of life, 

204 TEXAS. 

the supreme executive power should deem it expedient (o 
alienate any portion of land in favor of any officer, whether 
civil or military of the federation, it can do so from the 
vacant lands of the territories. 

"Art. 12. It shall not be permitted to unite in the 
same hands with the right of property, more than one 
league square of land, suitable for irrigation, four square 
leagues in superficies, of arable land without the facilities 
of irrigation, and six square leagues in superficies of graz- 
ing land. 

"Art. 13. The new colonists shall not transfer their 
property in mortmain (maims muertos.) 

"Art. 14. This law guarantees the contracts which 
the emprezarios make with the families which they bring 
at their own expense, provided they are not contrary to 
the laws. 

"Art. 15. No person who by virtue of this law ac- 
quires a title to lands, shall hold them if he is domiciliated 
out of the limits of the republic. 

"Art. 16. The government in conformity with the pro- 
visions established in this law, will proceed to colonize 
the territories of the republic. 

Mexico, 18th August, 1824. 


PEDRO DE AHUMADA, Member & Sec'y. 


"Therefore, we command it to be printed, circulated, 
and obeyed. 

NICOLAS BRAVO, ) Members of the 

VICENTE GUERRERO, } Supreme Executive 

Colonization Law of the State of Coahuila an 

''The Governor provisionally appointed by the Sovereign 
Congress of this State, — To all who shall see these pres- 


ents; Know— That the said Congress have decreed as 
follows: — 
"Decree No. 16. The Constituent Congress of the Free, 
Independent and Sovereign State of Coahuila and 
Texas, desiring by every possible means, to augment 
the population of its territory; promote the cultivation 
of its fertile lands, the raising and multiplication of 
stock, and the progress of the arts and commerce; and 
being governed by the Constitutional act, the Federal 
Constitution, and the basis established by the National 
Decree of the General Congress, No. 72, have thought 
proper to decree the following l\w of colonization: 
"Art. L All Foreigners, who in virtue of the general 
law, of the 18th August, 1824, which guarantees the secu- 
rity of their persons and property, in the territory of the 
Mexican Nation, wish to remove to any of the settle- 
ments of the state of Coahuila and Texas, are at liberty 
to do so; and the said State invites and calls them. 

"Art. 2. Those who do so, instead of being incommo- 
ded, shall be admitted by the local authorities of said 
settlements, who shall freely permit them to pursue any 
branch of industry that they may think proper, provided 
they respect the general laws of the nation, and those of 
the state. 

"Art. 3. Any foreignc*. already in the limits of the 
state of Coahuila and Itxas, who wishes to settle him- 
self in it, shall make a declaration to that effect, before 
the Ayuntamiento of the place, which he selects as his re- 
sidence; the Ayuntamiento in such case, shall administer 
to him the oath, which he must take to obey the federal 
and state constitutions, and observe the religion which 
the former prescribes; the name of the person, and his 
family if he has any, shall then be registered in a book 
kept for that purpose, with a statement of where he was 
born, and whence from, his age, whether married, occu- 
pation, and that he has takeu the oatb prescribed, and con- 

206 TEXAS. 

sidering him from that time and not before, asdomicilia' 

"Art. 4. From the day in which any foreigner has 
been enrolled, as an inhabitant, in conformity with the 
foregoing- article, he is at liberty to designate any vacant 
land, and the respective political authority will grant it 
to him in the same manner, as to a native of the country, 
in conformity with the existing laws of the nation, under 
the condition that the proceedings, shall be passed to the 
government for its approbation. 

"Art. 5. Foreigners of any nation, or a native of any 
of the Mexican states, can project the formation of new 
towns on any lands entirely vacant, or even on those of an 
individual, in the case mentioned in 35th article; but the 
new settlers who present themselves for admission, must 
prove their Christianity, morality and good habits, by a 
certificate from the authorities where they formerly resi- 

"Arl.G. Foreigners who emigrate at the time in which 
the general sovereign congress may have prohibited their 
entrance, for the purpose of colonizing, as they have the 
power to do, after the year 1840, or previous to that time, 
as respects those of any particular nation, shall not then 
be admitted; and those who apply in proper time, shall 
always subject themselves to such precautionary measures 
of national security, which the supreme government, 
without prejudicing the object of this law, may think 
proper to adopt relative to them. 

"Art. 7. The government shall take care, that within 
the twenty leagues bordering on the limits of the United 
States of the North, and ten leagues in a straight line 
from the coast of the Gulpli of Mexico, within the limits 
of this state, there shall be ho other settlements, except 
such as merit the approbation of tbe supreme government 
of the Union, for which object, all petitions on tbe sub- 
ject, whether made by Mexicans or foreigners, shall be 



passed to Ihe superior government, accompanied by a cor* 
responding report. 

"Art. 8. The projects for new settlements in which 
one or more persons offer to bring at their expense, one 
hundred or more families, shall be presented to the gov- 
ernment, and if found comformable with this law, they 
will be admitted; and the government will immediately 
designate to the contractors, the land where they are to 
establish themselves, and the term of six years, within 
which, they must present the number of families they 
contracted for, under the penalty of losing the rights and 
privileges offered in their favor, in proportion to the 
number of families which they fail to introduce, and the 
contract totally annuled if they do not bring at least one 
hundred families. 

"Art. 9. Contracts made by the contractors or under- 
takers, Empresarios, with tiie families brought at their 
expense, are guaranteed by this law, so far as they are 
comformable with its provisions. 

"Art. 10. In the distribution of lands, a preference 
shall be given to the Military entitled to them, by the 
diplomas issued by the supreme executive power, and to 
Mexican citizens who are not Military, among whom 
there shall be no other distinction, than that founded on 
their individual merit, or services performed for the coun- 
try, or in equal circumstances, a residence in the place 
where the land may be situated; the quantity of land which 
may be granted, is designated in the following articles. 

"Art. 11. A square of land, which on each side has 
one league or five thousand varas, or what is the same 
thing, a superficies of twenty-five million varas, shall be 
called a sitio, and this shall be the unity for counting one, 
two, or more sitios; and also the unity for counting one 
two or more labors, shall he one million square varas, or 
one thousand varas on each side, which shall compose a 

208 TEXAS. 

labor. The vara for this measurement shall be three geo- 
metrical feet. 

•'Art. 12. Taking the above unity as a basis, and ob- 
serving the distinction which must be made, between gra- 
zing land , or that which is proper for raising of stock, and 
farming land, with or without the facility of irrigation 
this law grants to the contractor or contractors, for the 
establishment of a new settlement, for each hundred 
families which he may introduce and establish in the 
state, five sitios of grazing land, and five labors, at least 
the one half of which, shall be without the facility of irri- 
gation; but they can only receive this premium for eight 
hundred families, although a greater number should be in- 
troduced, and no fraction whatever, less than one hundred 
shall entitle them to any premium, Dot even proportion- 

"Art. 13. Should any contractor or contractors in vir- 
tue of the number of families which he may have intro- 
duced, acquire in conformity with the last article, more 
than eleven square leagues of land, it shall nevertheless 
be granted, but subject to the condition of alienating the 
excess, within twelve years, and if it is not done, the res- 
pective political authority shall do it, by selling it at pub- 
lic sale, delivering the proceeds to the owners, after de- 
ducting the costs of sale. 

"Art. 14. To each family comprehended in a contract, 
whose sole occupation is cultivation of land, one labor 
shall be given; should he also be a stock raiser, grazing 
land shall be added to complete asitio, and should his only 
occupation be raising of stock, he shall only receive a su- 
perficies of grazing land, equal to twenty-four million 
square bars. 

"Art. 15. Unmarried men shall receive the same 
quantity when they enter the matrimonial state, and for- 
eigners who marry native Mexicans, shall receive one- 
fourth more; those who are entirely single, or who do not 

TEXAS. 209 

form a part of some family whether foreigners or natives, 
shall content themselves with the fourth part of the above- 
mentioned quantity, which is all that can be given them 
until they marry. 

"Art. 16. Families or unmarried men who, entirely 
of their own accord, have emigrated and may wiah to 
unite themselves to any new towns, can at ail times do so, 
and the same quantity of land shall be assigned them, 
which is mentioned in the two last articles; but if tliey do 
so within the first six years from the establishment of the 
settlement, one labor more shall be given to families, and 
single men in place of the quarter designated in the 15th 
article, shall have the third part. 

"Art. 17. It appertains to the government to augment 
the quantity indicated in the 14, 15, and 16th articles, in 
proportion to the family industry, and activity of the colon- 
ists, agreeably to the information given on these subjects 
by the Ayuntamientos aud Commissioners; the said gov- 
ernment always observing the provisions of the 12th arti- 
cle, of the decree of the general congress on the subject. 
"Art. 18. The families who emigrate in conformity 
with the 16th article shall immediately present themselves 
to the political authority of the place which they may 
have chosen for their residence, who, finding in them the 
requisites, prescribed by this law for new settlers, shall 
admit them, and put them in possession of the correspon- 
dinglaods, and shall immediately give an account thereof 
to the government; who of themselves, or by means of a 
person commissioned to that effect, will issue them a title. 
"Art. 19. The Indians of all nations, bordering on 
the state, as well as wandering tribes that may be within 
its limits, shall be received in the markets, without pay* 
ing any duties whatever for commerce, in the products of 
the country; and if attracted by the moderation and con- 
fidence, with which they shall be treated, any of them, 
after having first declared themselves in favor of our Re- 

210 TEXAS. 

ligion and Institutions, wish to establish themselves in any 
settlements that are forming, they shall be admitted, and 
the same quantity of land given them, as to the settlers 
spoken of in the 14th and 15th articles, always preferring 
native Indians to strangers. 

"Art. 20. In order that there may be no vacancies 
between tracts, of which, great care shall be taken in the 
distribution of lands, it shall be laid off in squares, or oth- 
er forms although irregular, if the local situation requires 
it; and in said distribution, as well as the assignation of 
lands for new towns, previous notice shall be given to the 
adjoining proprietors, if any, in order to prevent dissen- 
tions and law suits. 

"Art. 21. If by error in the concession, any land 
shall be granted, belonging to another, on proof being 
made of that fact, an equal quantity shall be granted else- 
where, to the person who may have thusobtained it through 
error, and he shall be indemnified by the owner of such 
land, for any improvements he may have made; the just 
•value of which improvements, shall be ascertained by ap* 

"Art. 22. The new settlers as an acknowledgment, 
shall pay to the state, for each sitio of pasture land, thirty 
dollars; two dollars and a half, for each labor without the 
facility of irrigation, and three dollars and a half, for each 
one that can be irrigated, and so on proportionally ac- 
cording to the quantity and quality of the land distribu- 
ted; but the said payments need not be made, until six 
years after the settlement, and by thirds; the first within 
four years, the second within five years, and the last with- 
in six years, uoder the penalty of losing the land for a 
failure, in any of said payments; there are excepted from 
this payment, the contractors, and Military, spoken of in 
the 10th article; the former, with respect to lands given 
them, as a premium, and the latter, for those which they 
obtained, in conformity with their diplomas. 

TEXAS. 211 

•'Art. 23. The Ayuntamientcs of each municipality 
(Cotnarca,) shall collect the above mentioned funds, gratis, 
by means of a committee, appointed either within ©r 
without their body; and shall remit them as they are col- 
lected, to the treasurerof their funds, who will give the cor- 
responding receipt, and without any other compensation 
than two and a half per cent., all that shall be allowed 
him; he shall hold them at the disposition of the govern- 
ment, rendering an account every month of the ingress 
and egress, and of any remissness or fraud, which he may 
observe in their collection; for the correct management 
of all which, the person employed, and the committee, 
and the individuals of the Ayuntamientos who appoint 
them, shall be individually responsible, and that this res- 
pon .bility may be at all times effectual, the said appoint- 
ments shall be made viva voce, and information shall be 
given thereof, immediately to the government. 

"An. 24. The government will sell to Mexicans and 
to them only, such lands as they may wish to purchase, 
taking cane that there shall not be accumulated in the 
same hands, more than eleven sitios, and under the con- 
dition, that the purchaser must cultivate what he acquires 
by this title within six years, from its acquisition, under 
the penalty of losing them; the price of each sitio, subject 
to the foregoing condition, shall be one hundred dollars, 
if it be pasture land; one hundred and fifty dollars, if it 
be farming land without the facility of irrigation; and 
two hundred and fifty dollars if it can be irrigated. 

"Art. 25. Until six years after the publication of this 
law, the legislature of this state, cannot alter it as re- 
gards the acknowledgment, and price to be paid for land, 
or as regards the quantity and quality, to be distributed 
to the new settlers, or sold to Mexicans. 

"Art. 2Q. The new settlers, who within six years from 
the date of the possession, have not cultivated or occu- 
pied the lands granted them, according to its quality, 

212 TEXAS 

shall be considered to have renounced them, and the 
respective political authority, shall immediately proceed 
to take possession of them, and recall the titles. 

"Art. 27. The contractors and Military, heretofore 
spoken of, and those who by purchase have acquired 
lands, can alienate them at any time, but the successor is 
obliged to cultivate them in the same time, that the origi- 
nal proprietor was bound to do; the other settlers can 
alienate theirs when they have totally cultivated them, 
and not before. 

"Art. 28. By testamentary will, made in conformity 
with the existing laws, or those which may govern in fu- 
ture, any new colonist, from the day of his settlement, 
may dispose of his land, although he may not have culti- 
vated it, and if he dies intestate, his property shall be in- 
herited by the person or persons entitled by the laws to 
it; the heirs being subject to the same obligation and con- 
dition imposed on the original grantee. 

"Art. 29. Lands acquired by virtue of this law, shall 
not by any ti tie whatever, pass into mortmain. 

"Art. 30. The new settler, who wishing to establish 
himself in a foreign country, resolves to leave the territory 
of -the state, can do so freely, with all his property; but 
after leaving the state, he shall not auy longer hold his 
land, and if he had not previously sold it, or the sale 
should not be iu conformity with the 27th article, it shall 
become entirely vacant. 

"Art. 31. Foreigners who in conformity with this law, 
have obtained lands, and established themselves in any 
new settlement, shall be considered from that moment, 
naturalized in the country; and by marrying a Mexican, 
they acquire a particular merit to obtain letters of citi- 
eenship of the state, subject however to the provisions 
which may be made relative to both particulars, in the 
constitution of the state. 

"Art. 32, During the first ten ysars, counting from 

TEXAS. 213 

the day on which the new 3ettlements may have been es- 
tablished, they shall be free from all contributions, of 
whatever denomination, with the exception of those 
which, in case of invasion by an enerr.y, or to prevent it, 
are generally imposed, and all the produce of agriculture 
or industry of the new settlers, shall be free from excise 
duty, Alcabala, or other duties, throughout every part of 
■the slate, with the exception of the duties referred torn 
the next article; after the termination of that time, tlie 
new settlements shall be on the same footing as to taxes, 
with the old ones, and the colonists shall also in this par- 
ticular, be on the same footing with the other inhabitants 
of the state. 

"Art. 33. From the day of their settlement, the new 
colonists shall be at libertv to follow any branch of indus* 
try, and can also work mines of every description, com- 
municating with the supreme government of the confeder 
ation, relative to the general revenue appertaining to it, 
and subjecting themselves in all other particulars, to the 
ordinances or taxes, established or which may be estab- 
lished on this branch. 

"Art. 34. Towns shall be founded on the sites deemed 
most suitable, by the government, or the person commis- 
sioned for this effect, and for each one, there shall be de- 
signated four square leagues, whose area may be in a re- 
gular or irregular form, agreeably to the sanation. 

"Art. 35. If any of the said sites should be the pro- 
perty of an individual, and the establishment of new 
towns on them, should notoriously be of general utility, 
they canj notwithstanding, be appropriated to this object, 
previously indemnifying the owner for its just value, tobe 
determined by appraisers. 

"Art. 36. Building lots in the new towns shall be giv- 
en gratis, to the contractors of them, and also to artists of 
every class, as many as are necessary for the establish- 
mentof their trade, and to the other settlers they shall 

214 TEXAS. 

be sold at public auction, after having been previously 
valued, under the obligation to pay the purchase money 
by instalments of one third each, the first in six months, 
the second in twelve months, and the third in eighteen 
months; but all owners of lots, including contractors and 
artists c shall annually pay one dollar for each lot, which, 
together with the produce of the sales, shall be collected 
by the Ayuntamiento3, and applied to the building of 
churches in said towns. 

"Art. 37. So far as is practicable, the towns shailbe 
composed of natives and foreigners, and in their delinea 
tions, great care shall be taken to lay off the streets 
straight, giving them a direction from north to south, and 
from east to west, when the site will permit it. 

"Art. 88, For the better location of the said new towns, 
their regular formation and exact partition oftheirlands 
and lots, the government on account of having admitted 
any project, and agreed with 1he contractor or contrac- 
tors, who may have presented it, shall commission a per- 
son of intelligence and confidence, giving him such par- 
ticular instructions as may be deemed necessary and ex- 
pedient, and authorizing him under his own responsibility, 
to appoint one or more surveyors, to lay off the town 
scientifically, and do whatever else may be required, 

"Art. 39. The Governor in conformity with the last 
fee bill, Aran eel, of notary public's of the ancient audi- 
ence of Mexico, shall designate the fees of the commis- 
sioner, who in conjunction with the colonists shall fix the 
surveyor's fees; but both shall be paid by the colonists, and 
in the manner which all parties among themselves may 
agree upon. 

"Art. 40. As soon as at least forty families are united 
in one place, they shall proceed to the formal establish- 
ment of the new towns, and all of them shall take an oath, 
to support the general and state constitutions; which oath 
will be administered by the commissioner; they shall then 

TEXAS. 215 

in his presence, proceed for the first time, to the election 
of their municipal authority. 

"Art. 41. A new town, whose inhabitants shall not be 
less than two hundred, shall elect an Ayuntamiento, pro- 
vided there is not another one established within eight 
leagues, in which case, it shall be added to it. The num- 
ber of individuals which are to compose the Ayuntamien- 
to, shall be regulated by the existing laws. 

"Art. 42. Foreigners are eligible, subject to the pro- 
visions which the constitution of the state may prescribe, 
to elect the members of their municipal authorities, and 
to be elected to the same. 

"Art. 43. The municipal expenses, and all others 
which may be considered necessary, or of common utility 
to the new towns, shall be proposed to the Governor, by 
the Ayuntamientos through the political chief, accompan- 
ied with apian of the taxes, arbitrios, which in their opin- 
ion may be just and best calculated to raise them, aud 
should the proposed plan, be approved of by the Govern- 
or, he shall order it to be executed, subject however, to 
the resolutions of the legislature, to whom it shall be imme- 
diately passed with his report and that of the political 
chief, who will say whatever occurs to him on the subject. 
"Art. 44. For the opening and improving of roads, 
and other public works in Texas, the government will 
transmit to the chief of that department, the individuals, 
who in other parts of the state, may have been sentenced 
to public works as vagrants, or for other crimes; these 
same persons may be employed by individuals for compe- 
tent wages, and as soon as the time of their condemnation 
is expired, they can unite themselves as colonists, to any 
new settlement, and obtain the corresponding lands, if 
their reformation shall have made them worthy of such 
favor iu the opinion of the chief of the department* with- 
out whose certificate, they shall not be admitted. 

"Art.45. The Government in accord with the respee- 

216 TEXAS 

tire ordinary ecclesiastics, will take care to provide the 
new settlements with the competent number of pastors, and 
in accord with the same authority, shall propose to the le- 
gislature for its approbation, the salary which the said pas* 
tors are to receive, which shall be paid by the new settlers. 
"Art. 46. The new settlers as regards the introduction 
of slaves, shall subject themselves to the existing laws, and 
those which may hereafter be established on the subject. 
"Art. 47. The petitions now pending relative to the 
subject of this law, shall be despatched in conformity 
with it, and for this purpose, they shall be passed to the 
Governor, and the families who may be established within 
the limits of the state, without having any land assigned 
them, shall submit themselves to this law, and to the orders 
of the supreme government of the Union, with respect to 
those who are within twenty leagues of the limits of the 
United States of America, and ten leagues in a straight 
line of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. 

"Art. 48. This law shall be published in all the villa- 
ges of the state; and that it arrive at the notice of all oth- 
ers, throughout the Mexican confederation, it shall be 
communicated to their respective legislatures, by the se- 
cretary of this state; and the Govornor will take particular 
care, to send a certified copy of it, in compliance with the 
16th article of the federal constitution, to the two houses of 
congress, and the supreme executive power of the nation, 
with a request to the latter, to give it general circulation 
through foreign states, by means of our embassadors. 

"The Governor pro tern, of the state will cause it to be 
published and circulated.— Saltillo, 24th March, 1825. 
"Signed, RAFAEL RAMOS Y. VALDEZ, President. 
"Therefore I command all Authorities, as well Civil as 
Military and Ecclesiastical, to obey, and cause to be 
obeyed, the present decree in all its parts. 


TEXAS. 217 

Instructions to the Commissioner appointed by the 
Legislature of the State. 

"Executive Department, ) 
Of the State of Coahuita and Texas. £ 
"Intructions by which the Commissioner shall be govern- 
ed, in the partition of lands to the new colonists, who 
may establish themselves in the State, in conformity 
with the colonization law of the 24th of March, 1825. 
"Art. 1- It shall be the duty of the commissioner, 
keeping in view the contract which an empresario may 
have entered into with the government, and also the col- 
onization law of the 24th March, scrupulously to examine 
the certificates or recommendations which foreign emi- 
grants must produce from the local authorities of the 
place where they removed from, accrediting their Chris- 
tianity, morality, and steady habits, in conformity with 
the 5th article of said law, without which requisite they 
shall not be admitted in the colony. 

"Art. 2. In order to prevent being imposed on by 
false recommendations, the commissioner shall not con- 
sider any as sufficient, without a previous opinion in wri- 
ting as to their legitimacy, from the empresario, for which 
purpose they shall be passed to him by the commissioner. 
"Art. 3. The commissioner shall administer to each 
of the new colonists, the oath in form, to observe the fed- 
eral constitution of the United Mexican States, the con- 
stitution of the State, the general laws of the Nation, 
and those of the State which they have adoptad for their 

"Art. 4. He shall issue in the name of the state, the 
titles for land, in conformity with the law, and put the 
new colonists in possession of their lands, with all legal 
formalities, and the previous citation of adjoining proprie- 
tors, should there be any. 

"Art. 5. He shall not give possession to any colonists 
who may have established, or who may wish to establish 

218 TEXAS. 

themselves within twenty leagues of tho limits of the Uni- 
ted States ot the Norih, or within ten leagues of the 
coast, unless it should appear that the Supreme govern- 
ment of the nation had approved thereof . 

"Art. 6. He shall take eare thai no vacant lands be 
left between possessions, and in order that the lines of 
each one may be clearly designated, he shall compel the 
colonists, within the term of one year, to mark tl^eir lines 
and to establish fixed and permanent corners-. 

"Art. 7. He shall appoint under his own responsibility 
the Surveyor, who must survey the land scientifically,, 
requiring him previously to take an oath truly and faith- 
fully to discharge the duties of his office. 

"Art. 8. He shall form a manuscript book of paperof 
the 3d stamp, in which shall be written the titles of the 
lands distributed to the colonists, specifying the names, 
the boundaries, and other requisites, and legal circum- 
stances; and a certified copy of each title shall be taken 
from said book on paper of the 2d stamp, which shall be 
delivered to the interested person as his title. 

"Art. 9. Each settler shall pay the value of the stamp 
paper used in issuing his title both for the original and 

"Art. 10. This book shall be preserved in the archives 
of the new colony, and an exact form of it shall be trans- 
mitted to tho government, specifying the number of 
colonists with their names, and the quantity of laud 
granted to each one, distinguishing that which is farming 
land, with or without the facilities of irrigation, and that 
which is granted as grazing land. 

"Art. 11. He shall select the site which may be the 
most suitable for the establishment of the town or towns, 
which are to be founded agreeably to the nwrnber of fam- 
ilies composing the colony, and keep in view the provi- 
sions of the law of colonization on this subject, 

"Art. 12. After selecting the site destined for the 

TEXAS. 219 

new town, ho shall take care that the base lines run 
north and south, east and west, and he will designate a 
public square one hundred and twenty varas on each side, 
exclusive of the streets, which shall be called the princi- 
pal or constitutional square, and this shall be the central 
point from which the street shall run, for the formation of 
squares and blocks in conformity with the model hereto 

"Art. 13. The block situated on the east side of the 
principal square, shall be destined for the church, curate's 
house, and other ecclesiastical buildings. The block on 
the west side of said square shall b-e designated for public 
buildings of the municipality. In some other suitable 
situation a block should be designated for a market square, 
another for a jail, and house of coirection, another for a 
school, and other edifices for public instruction, and an- 
other beyond the limits of the town for a burial ground. 
*'Art. 14. He shall on his responsibility cause the 
streets to be laid off straight, and that they are twenty 
varas wide, to promote the health of the town. 

"Art. 15. Mechanics, who at the time of founding a 
new town, present themselves to settle in it, Bhall have 
the right ©f receiving one lot a piece without any other 
cost ihan the necessary stamp paper for issuing the title, 
and the light tax of one dollar annually for the construc- 
tion of the church. 

"Art. 16. The Jots spoken of in -the preceding article 
shall he distributed by lot, with the exception of the env 
presario, who shall be entitled to any two lots he may se- 

*'Art. 17* The other lots shall be valued by appraisers 
according to their situation, and sold to the other colon- 
ists at their appraised value: In case there should be a 
number of applicants for the same lot, owing to itesittia- 
tion or other circumstances which may excite competi- 
tion, it shall be decided by lot as prescribed in the pre- 

220 TEXAS. 

ceding article; the product of said lots shall be appro- 
priated to the building of a church in said town. 

"Art. 18. He shall in unison with the empresario, 
promote the settlement of each town by the inhabitants 
belonging to its jurisdiction, who take lots in it, ?.od cause 
them to construct houses on said lots within a limited time 
underthepenalty of forfeiting them. 

"Art. 19. He shall form a manuscript book of each 
new town, in which shall be written the titles of the lots 
which are given as a donation or sold, specifying their 
boundaries and other necessary circumstances, a certified 
copy of each one of which on the corresponding stamp 
shall be delivered to the interested person as his title. 

"Art. 20. He shall form a topographical plan of each 
town that may be founded, and transmit it to the govern' 
inent, keeping a copy of it in the said register book of the 

"Art. 21. He shall see that at the crossing of each 
of the rivers on the public roads, where a town is founded, 
a ferry is established at the cost of the Inhabitants of said 
town, a moderate rate of ferriage shall be established tu 
pay the salary of the ferryman and the cost of the neces- 
sary boats, and the balance shall be applied to the public 
funds of the towns* 

"Art. 22. In places where there are no towns and where 
ferries are necessary, the colonists who may be settled 
there shall be charged wilhthe establishment of the fer- 
ry, collecting a moderate ferriage until such ferries are 
rented out for the use of tlie slate. Any colonist who 
wishes to establish a ferry an the terms above indicated, 
shall form an exact and certified account of the costs 
which he may be at for the building of boats, and also au 
account of the produce of the ferry, in order that when 
said ferry is rented out for the use o-f the state, he shall 
have a right to receive the amount of said expenses which 
had not already been covered by the produce of the ferry, 
which for the present he collect. 

TEXAS. 221 

"Art. 23. He shall preside at the popular elections 
mentioned in the 40th article of the colonization law for 
the appointment of the Ayantamiento, and shall put the 
elected in possession of their offices. 

"Art. 24. He shall take special care that the portions 
of land granted to the colonists by article 14, 15 and 16, 
shall be measured by (lie surveyors with accuracy, and not 
permit any one to include more land than is designated by 
law, under the penalty of being personally responsible. 

"Art. 25. Should any colonist solicit in conformity 
with the 17th article of the law an augmentation of land 
beyond that designated in the preceeding articles on ac- 
count of the size of his family, industry, or capital, he 
shall present his petition in writing to the commissioner 
stating all the reasons on which he founds his petition, 
who shall transmit it to the Governor of the state, togeth- 
er with his opinion, for which opinion he shall be respon- 
sible in the most rigid manner, in order that the Governor 
may decide on the subject. 

"Art. 26. All the public instruments, titles, or other 
documents, issued by the commissioner, shall be written 
in Spanish; the memorials, decrees, and reports of the 
colonists or cmpresarios on any subject whatever, shall 
be written in the same language, whether they are to be 
transmitted to the government, or preserved in the ar- 
chives of the colony. 

"Art. 27. AH public instruments or titles of possession, 
and the copies signed by the commissioner, shall be at- 
tested by two assistant witnesses. 

"Art. 28. The commissioner shall be personally res- 
ponsible for all acts or measures performed by him contra- 
ry to the colonization law or these instructions. 

"A Copy— Saltillo, September 4th, 1827. 

TIJERINA, I Secretariesof the 
ARC1NIEGA, \ Legislature. 
Secretary of State.** 

222 TEXAS. 

It will be seen by these documents, that many 
and grevious mistakes have existed in regard to the 
colonization laws of Texas, which have been the 
origin of much dissatisfaction to the disappointed 
adventurer and speculator, and have contributed 
not a little to the circulation of those various slan- 
derous reports, and that strain of bitter invective, 
which have been so liberally indulged in by un- 
successful avarice. 

Empresarios, — The Empresarios 7 contracts, by 
an inadvertency, no doubt, have been called grants. 
This term is correct for those who comprehend 
what an Empresario-contract is; but there is rea- 
son to believe that it has misled many, who were 
unacquainted with the colonization laws, and who 
attached to the word grant an idea of a fee-simple 
right vested in the Empresario, for all the land de- 
signated on the maps as embraced in an Empresa- 
rio's contract. Such an idea is totally erroneous. 
The Empresario has no authority or power what- 
ever to give a title to any land in Texas, except 
for his own premium land. The law allows him 
five leagues for each hundred families he introdu- 
ces, or is instrumental in settling there; the land 
remaining within the limits designated for an Em- 
presario-s contract or colony, after the families 
and single men and the premium land are provided 
for, becomes vacant land. 

What then is the value of an Empresario's con- 
tract? will be asked. We answer: The law of 
the State of Coahuila and Texas of the 24th of 

TEXAS. 223 

M.arch, 1825, authorizes the governor to contract 
with persons who are called Empresarios, to settle 
a certain number of families within specified limits, 
in the term of six years. To all such families in- 
troduced under these contracts, the law grants a 
league of land, — -and to a single man a quarter 
league; the title to which is issued by a commis- 
sioner, specially appointed by Government. 

The Empresarios, during the time of their con- 
tracts, have control and jurisdiction over the lands, 
so far as their settlement is concerned. Accord- 
ing to law, no person can settle upon their grants 
without their consent, and they alone are authori- 
zed to judge of the qualifications of colonists, and 
give them a right to settle, as they are responsible 
for their good character, being bound, by the terms 
of their several contracts, to introduce into their 
colonies no man guilty of atrocious crimes. 

The consent of the Empresario is an indispen- 
sable prerequisite to obtain a title from the Com- 
missioner of Government; as that officer has no 
authority, and dare not issue a title to land which 
is covered by a contract. This consent, in some 
instances, is issued by the Empresario, and sold by 
his agents in the form of scrip or certificates of ad- 
mission to the colony, the holders of which will 
receive titles thereto for the quar.tity of land al- 
lowed by law, which will be valid, provided they 
take the necessary steps to perfect their title. It 
will hence be apparent, that it is of the utmost con- 
sequence to the settler to possess himself of the 

224 TEXAS. 

scrip or consent of an Empresario; for by it, he 
can have free access to the choice lands of Texas, 
and without it, he must content himself with those 
vacant lands which have been left unappropriated. 

All the grants or sales of land made by the 
Government in Texas are of the same character, 
and in virtue of the same laws, except those in 
the first colony of three hundred families, settled 
by Gen. S. F. Austin. This contract was made 
with the General Government, previous to the 
adoption of the Federal system and constitution, 
and before the vacant lands were vested in the 
States by the Federal compact and constitutional 
law of the 18th of August, 1824. 

Tnere is no such thing as Military grants in 
Texas, or grants of any kind, except Austin's first 
colony as just mentioned, that are not in comfor- 
mity with the colonization laws of Coahuila and 
Texas, and the constitutional act of the 18th of 
August, 1824. 

Titles* — The basis of a title to land in Texas, 
is actual removal and settlement in the country. 
The grantee is allowed six years to settle the land 
given to him; but he must be in the country before 
a title can be issued to him; for if issued before 
he removes, or if he abandons the country after it 
is issued, without having legaU]/ sold and tranferred 
his land, it escheats and becomes vacant land. 
No foreigner not naturalized, can hold real estate 
in Texas, under the colonization laws; and should 
a settler who has perfected his title sell it to a for- 
eigner, it escheats and becomes vacant land. 

TEXAS. 225 

Each man having a family on settling, obtains 
a league of land—which is about 4428 acres En- 
glish measure — provided the Empresario and a 
commissioner, both officers of Government, certify 
to his character, his necessary legal qualifications, 
and his intention of becoming a citizen. This 
certificate is carried to the surveyor, who is also 
a public officer, and it becomes his duty to lay off 
to the applicant the amount of land to which the 
certificate entitles him. 

It was ordered by the laws respecting coloniza- 
tion, that an applicant for settlement should pre- 
sent a certificate from the authorities of the place 
whence he came, accrediting his "Christianity, 
(adherance to C A R religior ) morality and steady 
habits," and without such certificate, as also thai 
of the Empresario witnessing its genuineness, the 
commissioner is bound to withhold title* In point 
of fact, however, to procure an order of survey, 
an applicant is required merely to obtain from the 
Alcalde of the country*, the certificate above men- 
tioned. He goes to the Alcalde, and that oificer, 
upon the testimony of two by-standers, gives him 
the certificate required, upon payment of a dollar 
and a half. Upon presentation of this paper to 
the commissioner, an order of survey is granted, 
and the title issued to the land surveyed. 

By a law of 21st of May, 1834, however, pro- 
tection is offered to the person and property of 
every settler, whatever maybe his religion; and, 
henceforward, if Texas should be successful in 

226 TEXAS. 

her struggle for Independence, the Roman Catholic 
will cease to be the established religion of the 

Every one obtaining land from the Government, 
is obliged to take an oath to support the constitution 
of the country, must reside within its limits six 
years, and must make some small improvement, 
before his title is perfected. But under a law of 
March 26, 1834, settlers have the privilege of sel- 
ling their land before actual settlement, or cultiva- 
tion; but the second purchaser is bound to do both, 
within six years from the date of the original title, 
or forfeit his land. The title deed is issued upon 
stamped paper, and contains, 1st, the petition of 
the applicant; 2nd, the order of the commissioner, 
passing him to the Empresario, to ascertain wheth- 
er his consent is granted; 3rd, the declaration of 
the Empresario, expressing that consent; 4th, the 
decree ordering a survey; 5th, the surveyor's re- 
turn, or the description of the land; 6th, the decree 
ordering title to be extended; and 7th, the exten- 
sion of titles. The stamped paper upon which 
this title is issued, costs from two to three dollars; 
and the whole cost of a league of land is about one 
hundred and eighty dollars, 

A single man, upon a certificate of his qualifica- 
tions, can obtain a quarter of a league of land, and, 
provided he marries, gets the remainder of the 
league; and should he marry a native Mexican, he 
would be entitled to one third more. 

As the Mexican measures are but little known 


in the United States, the following table in which 
the Mexican and English measures are compared, 
will, we doubt not, be found useful, and indeed al- 
most indispensable. 

Table of Measures. 


1 foot is equal to 
1 yard or vara " 

108 varas '« 

1000 varas 

1000 varas square,! 
or one million square > ct 
vara is one.labor, ) 


ll£ inches 

33^ do 

100 yards. 

5 925fffTn, or925yards, 
) or2 feet Q-j inches. 

C177|^ acres or about 
< 177-| acres, equal to 
(about 17,725§ rods. 
?4629 yards, 1 foot, lOf 
1 inches, or 2f^ miles, 
jor 2 miles 201 rod6, 
f 12 feet, 4^ inches. 

4428^f acres. 

5000 varas square, is 
one league, 

1 league square, or 1 
twenty five million > 
square varas islsitio,) 

A Township of 4 sitio3 is 17,713f £§^ acres, English. 

An American Township of six miles square, is 22,040 

To bring Mexican Measure into English, deduct 7f£ 
per cent. 

To bring English Measure into Mexican, add 8 per 

4,840 yards make an acre, English; 5,714f|^ varas make 
an acre, English.* 

New settlers are exempted from the payment 
of the usual taxes, for the term of ten years, and 

*The above table was prepared by Joseph F. Bridges, sur- 
veyor, 173 Green street, New York ; and is a correct compari- 
son of English and Mexican Measure. 

228 TEXAS. 

are allowed to introduce all articles for their own 
use, free of duty. 

The Governor alone has the power to augment 
the quantity of land granted to an individual; he, 
or the State Legislature, may grant to one person, 
being a Mexican, eleven leagues in full property, 
but cannot legally grant more; for the states are 
limited, by the general constitutional law of 18th 
of August, 1 824, which vests the vacant lands in 
the respective States in which they are situated, 
to that amount for one person. All grants or 
sales, therefore, made by the State government, 
for more than eleven leagues, to any single indi- 
vidual, are null and void; for there existed, no au- 
thority or power in the Governor or legislature, to 
execute any such grants or sales. 

Government concessions have been made to 
Empresarios, entitling them to sell to purchasers 
to the amount of eleven leagues, to which quanti- 
ty they are limited by law. Under these conces- 
sions, a commissioner is appointed by Government, 
to extend the title of possession. But, in all cases 
where there is a default of such appointment, and 
no other officer is named to issue title, it is usual 
to petition the nearest Alcalde for an order of sur- 
vey, and he, upon the return of the field notes, 
decrees that title shall be extended, and puts the 
party in possession. A record of this is made in 
the Alcalde's office, the copy issued to the party, 
being signed by the clerk of the Ayuntamiento. 
The titles thus bestowed, though irregular, are per- 

TEXAS. 229 

fectly valid. The total cost per league of land 
thus obtained, will amount to an average sum of 
one hundred and twenty-five dollars, payable in 
cash on receipt of title. 

Speculators have made, and will continue to 
make fortunes in Texas, as land-jobbers. Sales 
are rapid, and the price of land is continually in- 
creasing. A chapter might be written upon the 
facilities and profits of such a trade; but it is not 
consistent with our plan or limits to do so, and we 
leave the subject to be explored and demonstrated 
by adventurers in propria persona^ 

Proportion of Land taken. — The maps of Texas 
that have been published, generally represent the 
whole country as occupied and disposed of by 
grants to Empresarios. This is naturally calcu- 
lated to convey the idea, that there is no vacant or 
unappropriated land in that country. Such an 
idea is totally erroneous, and fit for mischief. 
Of these contracts or grants, the latter term seems 
to be the favorite: none have been fully complied 
with, except those granted to S. F. Austin. Of 
the others, only a part of the families contracted 
for have been settled; and the most of them have 
expired by the terms of the contracts, without 
any settlers. This, however, does not invalidate 
the titles of colonists, in their grants; the Empresa- 
rio alone suffers by his delinquency. For the 
settler does not receive his title from the Empre- 
sario, but from the government, through a commis- 
sioner appointed for the special purpose of extend- 




ing titles. After being once introduced, and the 
conditions of his title are performed, the Empresa- 
rio has no further jurisdiction over a settler, or his 

Gen. Austin has entered into five contracts of 
different dates; the first with the Mexican Govern- 
ment, and the others with the State of Coahuila 
and Texas, to colonize a number of families, not 
exceeding two thousand. The first four of which 
have been completed, and the fifth is being fast 
settled. The last of the above mentioned con- 
tracts was made in February, 1831, in the name of 
Austin & Williams, and is to embrace eight hun- 
dred families. Like all other contracts, it will be 
in force for six years from the date of it; conse- 
quently, it will expire in 1837. In Austin's col- 
onies, which are the most populous, it is estimated 
that at least one third of the land is still vacant and 

A considerable number of families have been 
settled in the colonies of De Witt, De Leon, Aus- 
tin &l Williams, Burnett, Vehlein, and Zavala. 
The greatest proportion of land however in these 
grants, is vacant; and that too, of excellent quali- 
ty. In the other colonies, in the interior of Texas, 
the land is all vacant. 

On Red river, a considerable portion of land is 
taken up under eleven leagues, and smaller tracts, 
granted to individuals; which is also the case in the 
Nacogdoches district, and in the vicinity of Goliad 
and Bexar. 

TEXAS. 231 

There is not sufficient data to state positively 
how much land has been appropriated; it is, how- 
ever, a fair estimate that the appropriations will 
not exceed one twentieth part of the whole state. 
It is by no means true that, as has been stated, all 
the good lands in Texas have been taken: a great 
portion of the best soil in the country yet remains 
unlocated, and will, in all probability, for many 
years to come; or, if purchased, will be in the 
hands of speculators, who will resell it at a fair 

Land of the best quality may, at present, be ob- 
tained in Austin & Williams's colony, and in many 
other grants, where as yet scarce a settlement has 
been formed. 


Government and Laws. 

Under the Spanish government, Texas was one 
of the provinces of New Spain, and after the old 
divisions of territory was superseded by a new 
arrangement in the year 1776, it was joined with 
Coahuila, St. Andero, and New Leon, to form the 
intendency of San Luis Potosi. This intendancy, 
styled the Eastern Captaincy, was the subject of 
a subordinate military government, under the con- 
trol of the supreme council or audienza of Guada- 
lajara. When, in 1810, the Mexican patriots 
drew the sword for liberty, Texas was found to be 
an important auxiliary in war, though she had been 
an insignificant province in peace. She became, 
more than once, the scene of war, and her territory 
being in the hands of the patriots, offered a se- 
cure route for the bands of anglo-American vol- 
unteers in the Texan cause. 

She was one of the unities that composed the 
general mass of the nation, and was represented 
in the constituent congress of Mexico that formed 
the constitution of 1824. This constituent con- 
gress, so far from destroying this unity, expressly 
recognized and confirmed it by the law of May 7, 
1824, which united Texas with Coahuila provis- 

234 TEXAS. 

ionally, under the special guaranty of being made 
a state of the Mexican confederation, so soon as 
it possessed the necessary elements. 

This law and the Federal constitution gave Tex- 
as a specific political existence, and vested in its 
inhabitants special and defined rights, which can 
only be relinquished by the people of Texas, acting 
for themselves as an unity. The state cannot there- 
fore relinquish those rights, by agreeing to a change 
of government, or by any other act, unles express- 
ly authorised by the people of Texas to do so; 
neither can the general government of Mexico 
legally deprive Texas of them, without the con- 
sent of the people. For a full exposition of this 
matter, we refer the reader to Gen. Austin's ad- 
dress, published in this volume, page 253. 

The colonization laws both of the general gov- 
ernment and of the state of Coahuila and Texas, 
have been published in a previous chapter. In 
order still farther to show the inducements presen- 
ted to colonists to settle in the Mexican Territory r 
we refer the reader to the Mexican constitution 
published in the appendix. The Laws of the Gen- 
eral and State Governments, as well as the reg- 
ulations of the Provisional Government, we must 
omit for want of room. For though, doubtless, 
they would be interesting documents to the rea- 
der, they are not of so much present import- 
ance, as to warrant their admission into a work 
of the size and plan of this. 

This constitution having been violated by Santa 

TEXAS. 235 

Anna, and the rights of Texas being invaded there- 
by, a general consultation was advised and con- 
vened, of delegates from the different municipalites 
of Texas, to take into consideration the means best 
calculated to promote their welfare, and especially 
to secure their constitutional rights. This consul- 
tation met at San Felipe, on the 3d of November, 
1835, and proceeded to adopt a Bill of Rights, and 
organize a provisional government. Henry Smith 
was electd Governor, and J. W. Robinson, Lieu- 
tenant Governor. 

Declaration of the People of Texas, in General 
Convention assembled. 

"Whereas, General AntonioLopez de Santa Anna, and 
other military chieftains, have, by force of arms, over- 
thrown the Federal Institutions of Mexico, and dissolved 
the social compact which existed between Texas and the 
other members of the Mexican Confederacy; now, the 
goodPepple of Texas, availing themselves of their natural 


"1st. That they have taken up arms in defence of their 
rights and liberties, which are threatened by the encroach- 
ments of military despots, and in defence of the republican 
principles of the Federal Constitution of Mexico. 

"2d. That Texas is no longer morally or civilly bound 
by the Compact of Union; yet stimulated by the generosi- 
ty and sympathy common to a free people, they offer their 
support and assistance to such of the members of the Mex- 
ican Confederacy, as will take up arms against military 

''3d. That they do not acknowledge that the present au- 
thorities of the nominal Mexicau Republic have the right 
to govern within the 'imits of Texas. 

236 TEXAS. 

"4th. That they will not cease to Carry on war against 
the said authorities, whilst their troops are within the 
limits of Texas. 

*'5th. That they hold it to be their right, during the dis- 
organization of the Federal System, and the reign of des- 
potism, to withdraw from the Union, to establish an inde- 
pendent government, or to adopt such measures as they 
may deem best calculated to protect (heir rights and lib- 
erties; but that they will continue faithful to the Mexican 
government, so long as that nation is governed by the 
Constitution and laws that were formed for the govern- 
ment of the Political Association. 

"6th. That Texas is responsible for the expenses of her 
armies, now in the field. 

"7th. That the public faith of Texas is pledged for the 
payment of any debts contracted by her agents. 

"8lh. That she will reward by donations in land, all who 
volunteer their services in her present struggle, and re- 
ceive tbem as citizens. 

" These Declarations we solemnly avow to the world, 
and call God to witness their truth and sincerity, and in- 
voke defeat and disgrace upon our heads, should we prove 
guilty of duplicity. 

B. T. ARCHER, President." 

Before adjourning, the consultation appointed 
the 1st of March, 1836, for a convention of dele- 
gates to be held at Washington, for the purpose of 
publishing a more positive declaration of indepen- 
dence, and organizing a permanent government. 
At the appointed time the convention assembled, 
and, on the 2d of March, 1 836, reported, 

"The Unanimous Declaration of Independence, 
"Made by the delegates of the people of Texas in general 

TEXAS 237 

Convention, at the town of Washington, on the 2d day 

of March, 1836. 

"When a government has ceased to protect the lives 
liberty and property of the people from whom its legiti- 
mate powers are derived, and for the advancement of 
whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being 
a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and 
unalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands 
of evil rulers for their oppression; when the federal repub- 
lican constitution of their country, which they have 
sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, 
and the whole nature of their government has been for- 
cibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted 
federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a 
consolidated central military despotism, in which every 
interest is disregarded, but that of the army and the 
priesthood — both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the 
ever ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of 
tyrants; When, long after the spirit of the constitution 
lias departed, moderation, at length so far lost, by those 
in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed 
and the framers themselves, of the constitution, discon- 
tinues, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances 
being regarded, the agents who bear them, are thrown 
into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth, to force 
a new government upon ' im at the point of the bayonet; 
When inconsequence of such acts of malfeasance, abdi- 
cation, on the part of the government, monarchy prevails, 
and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. 

"In such a crisis, tne first law of nature, the right of 
self preservation, the inherent and ir alienable right of 
the people to appeal to first principles, and take their 
political affairs into their own hands, in extreme cases, 
enjoins it as a right towards themselves anil a sacred 
obligation to their posterity to abolish such government 
and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them 

238 TEXAS. 

from impending dangers, and to secure their future wel* 
fare and happiness. 

"Nations, as well as individuals, are amenable for their 
acts to the public opinion of mankind. A statement of a 
part of our grievances, is therefore, submitted to an im- 
partial world; in justification of the hazardous, but una- 
voidable step, now taken, of severing our political con- 
nexions with the Mexican people, and assuming an inde 
pendent attitude among the nations of the earth. 

"The Mexican government, by the colonization laws, 
invited and induced the anglo-American population of 
Texas to colonise the wilderness, under the pledged faith 
of a written constitution; (hat they should continue to en- 
joy that constitutional liberty and republican government 
to which they had been habituated in the land of their 
birth, the United States of America. Jn this expecta- 
tion, they have been cruelly disappointed — as the Mexican 
nation to has acquiescedin the late changes made in the 
government by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna — who 
having overturned the constitution of this country, now 
offers us the cruel alternative either to abandon our 
houses, acquired by so many privations, or submit to the 
most intolerable of all tyranny, the combined despotism 
of the sword and the priesthood. 

"It has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, 
by which our interests have been continually depressed, 
through a jealous and partial course of legislation, car- 
ried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile 
majority in an unknown tongue; and this, too, notwith- 
standing we have petitioned in the humblest terms for the 
establishment of a separate state government, and have in 
accordance with the provisions of the national constitu- 
tion, presented to the general congress a republican con- 
stitution, which was, without just cause, contemptuously 
"It incarcerated in a dungeon for a long time one ofour 

TEXAS. 239 

citizens, for no other cause than a zealous endeavor to 
procure the acceptance of our constitution and the estab- 
lishment of a state government. 

"It has failed and refused to secure on a firm basis, the 
right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and 
only safe guarantee for life, liberty and property of 
the citizen. 

"It has failed to establish any system of public education 
although possessed of means almost boundless, (the pub- 
lic domain) and although it is an axiom in political sci- 
ence, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, 
it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty or the 
capacity for self government. 

"It has suffered the military commandant stationed 
amongst us to exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and 
tyranny, thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of 
the citizen, and rendering the military superior to the 
civil powers. 

"It has dissolved, by force of arms, the state congress of 
Coalmila and Texas, and obliged our representatives to 
fly for their lives from the seat of government, thus depriv- 
ing us of the fundamental political right of representation. 
"It has demanded the surrender of a number of our cit- 
izens, and ordered military detachments to secure and 
carry them into the interior for trial, in contempt of the 
civil authority, and in defiance of the laws and the con- 

"It has made piratical attacks upon our commerce, by 
commissioning foreign desperadoes and authorising them 
to seize our vessels, and convey the property of our cit- 
izens to far distant port9 for confiscation. 

"It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty ac- 
cording to the dictates of our conscience, by the support 
of a national religion, calculated to promote the tempo- 
ral interests of its hu nan functionaries, rather than the 
glory of the true and living God. 

240 TEXAS. 

"It has demanded us to deliver up our arms, which are 
essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, 
and formidable only to tyrannical governments. 

"It has invaded our country, both by sea and land, with 
intent to lay waste our territory, and drive us from our 
homes — and has now a large mercenary army advancing 
to carry on against us, a war of extermination. 

"It has, through its emissaries, incited the merciless 
savages, with tlie tomahawk and scalping knife, to massa- 
cre the inhabitants of our defenceless frontiers. 

"It hath been, during the whole time of our connexion 
with it, the contemptible sport and victim of successive 
military revolutions; and hath continually exhibited every 
characteristic of a weak, corrupt and tyrannical govern- 

"These and other grievances were patiently borne by 
the people of Texas, until they readied that point, at 
which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took 
up arms in defence of the national constitution. We ap- 
pealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our ap- 
peal has been made in vain* though months have elapsed, 
no sympathetic response has ye« been heard from the inte- 
rior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy con- 
clusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the 
destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therefor 
of a military government; that they are unfit to be free, 
and incapable of self-government. 

"The necessity of self-preservation therefore, now de- 
crees our eternal political separation. 

"We, therefore, the delegates, with plenary powers, 
of the people of Texas, in Solemn Convention as- 
sembled, appealing to a candid world for the neces- 
sities of our condition, do hereby resolve and declare, 
that our political connection with the Mexican nation, 
has forever ended, and that the people of Texas do now 
constitute a free, sovereign and independent republic, 

TEXAS. 241 

and are fully invested with all the rights and attributes 
which properly belong to independent nations — and con- 
scious of the rectitude of our intentions, we fearlessly and 
confidently submit the issue to decision of the supreme 
arbiter of the destinies of nations. 

Signers Names, 

RICHARD ELLIS, President. 

Municipality of Austin — C. B. Stewart, Thos. Barnett. 

Brazoria — Edwin Waller, James Collinsworth, J. S. 
Bynum, Asa Brigham. 

Bexar — Francisco Rouis, Antonio Navarro, J. B. 

Colorado — W. D. Lacy, William Manifee. 

Gonzales — J. Fisher, M. Caldwell. 

Goliad — William Motley. 

Harrisburg^— Lorenzo DeZavala. 

Jasper — J. H, Everette, Geo. W. Smith. 

Jackson — Elijah Slepp. 

Jefferson — Claiborne West, Win. B. Seates, M. Menard, 
A.B. Hardin. 

Mna—J. W. Benton, E. J. Gazlay,R. M. Coleman. 

Matagorda — B. Hardiman. 

Milam — L.C. Robertson, Geo. C. Childress. 

Nacogdoches — Ilobert Potter, Thos. J. Rusk. 

Pecan Point — Ilobert Hamilton, Collin M. King, Al- 
bert H. Lalimore. 

Refugio — James Power, Saml. Houston, David. Thom- 
as, Edward Conrad. 

San Augustin — E. O. Degand, Mortin Parmer, S. M. 

Sabine — James Gaines, William Clark, Jr. 

Shelby — Sydney O. Pennington, Win. C. Crawford. 

San Patrico. — John Turner, B. B. Goodrich, Jesse 
Grimes, J. G. Swisher, G. W. Barnett. 


242 TEXAS. 

The government organized by such a congress 
will, of course, be purely Republican — modelled 
upon that of our own happy country. Such a 
government alone can obtain in Texas, while she 
contains fifty thousand free spirits, who have 
breathed the atmosphere of American liberty. 
Vain must be every effort to compose servitude 
upon such men. Santa Anna and his myrmidons 
may annihilate, but they never can enslave them. 
While one anglo-American is left in Texas, the 
tyrant may tremble for the security of his domin- 
ion, not only over her territory, but that of Mexico 
also. The sun of liberty which has arisen in our 
political horizon, will not set until it shall have 
illumined our vast continent with the light of eter- 
nal day. 

Judicial. The trial by jury was secured to 
Texas before her independence, and was, no 
doubt, a bad stroke of policy in a despot to permit. 
This right will of course remain under the Repub- 
lican regime. 

Texas was divided by act of assembly, in the 
year 1834, for judicial purposes, into three De- 
partments or Districts, viz: the Department of 
Bejar, — that of the Brazos, — and that of Nacogdo- 
ches. In each of these Departments, there are as 
many Ayuntamientos as the conveniency of the 
people require. The sphere of action of the Ayun- 
tamientos is called a jurisdiction, and answers to a 
town or city corporation; to each of which is as- 
signed an Alcalde, who is the chief officer of the 

TEXAS. 243 

public corporation, and primary judge of the court. 
He has cognizance of all causes both civil and 

From the decision of the primary judge, an ap- 
peal lies to a superior court, which is held by one 
judge, who at stated times, hears appeals at the 
three Departments. 

Some alterations were made in this plan by the 
Provisional Government, and others will probably 
obtain yet before the complete organization of a 
government. Each "municipality, however, yet 
continues to elect an alguazil or sheriff, an alcalde, 
a syndico-procuradore, corregidor, and other of- 
ficers of Ayuntamientos. The political Chiefs 
have ceased their functions by order of the con. 


In a country so very recently settled, and even 
yet in a great measure unredeemed from Nature's 
barbarism, we cannot look for characters whose 
wisdom in council and exploits in the field might 
interest mankind. These qualities are the creation 
of circumstances, to whicfi the occasion that de- 
mands always gives birth. There are however a 
few individuals who have figured in the events of 
her brief history, whom Texas will delight to hon- 
or; and a passing but slight sketch of whom, we 
think, will prove interesting to our readers. 

First among these stands Gen. S. F. Austin; in 
regard to whom Texas may be said to have grown 
with his growth and strengthened with his 
strength. Of him, however, a full account will 
be found in the succeeding chapter; and we there- 
fore shall pass on to others, with whose lives, the 
fortunes of Texas have not been so invariably 
identified, but whose names are worthy to be re- 
corded upon the brightest page of her history. 

Conspicuous among these is the name of the la- 
mented Benjamin B. Milam. Col. Milam was a 
native of Kentucky. He was born of humble 
parents, and had the advantages of but a very slight 

TEXAS. 245 

education. He had, however, a strong mind, un . 
fettered by any bands which circumstances could 
force, hardy, and enterprising in the highest degree. 
He distinguished himself in the war with Great 
Britain in 1812-15, for his patriotism and valor. 
Returning after the conclusion of the war 
to his native state, he found the country in 
such a declining condition, that, dissatisfied with 
the prospects before him, he bade adieu to the land 
of his birth, and as an adventurer and a philanthro- 
pist, sought the revolutionary banners of Mexico, 
and drew the sword in the cause of liberty against 
transatlantic despotism. Distinguished as a sol- 
dier only in the provinces, he soon marched to 
Mexico itself, and became a very conspicuous 
leader in the patriot army, rendering eminent ser- 
vices to the Republican cause. When Iturbide 
was proclaimed Emperor, he was the first to call 
for his dethronement; as a consequence of which he 
was arrested and imprisoned. Commanding however 
almost universal admiration and esteem, the fetters 
of a tyrant were not able to hold the people's 
friend. The populace rose in large numbers, at- 
tacked and broke the jail in which he was confined, 
and set him at liberty. In a short time he assisted 
in expelling the tyrant from the country, and final- 
ly bringing him to punishment. His services were 
not forgotton by the republic for whom he had 
done so much* — fickle and ungrateful as she has so 
often proved herself. In 1828, he obtained from 
the government a grant of land in Texas, amount- 

246 TEXAS. 

ing to one million of acres, which he disposed of to 
Baring & Co. London. He also, subsequently* 
obtained from the legislature of Coahuila and 
Texas a decree, conceding to him for the term of 
ten years, the free and exclusive navigation of the 
river Colorado by steam boats: — for which privi- 
lege he was to render said river navigable to the 
town of Mina, clearing away all rafts and other 
obstructions which impeded its navigation. The 
execution of this decree was prevented by the 
distracted state of the country, and the contractor's 
early death. 

In 1835} after the dispersion of the legislature 
of Coahuila and Texas, Milam, who was returning 
from the seat of government to Texas, was found 
in company with the governor, who was flying 
from the troops of the despot. For this, and for 
no other assignable reason, he too was thrown 
into confinement. After several months of im- 
prisonment he effected his escape, and immediately 
started for Texas. In order to elude the pursuit 
of his merciless enemies, he travelled six hundred 
miles without a road, prosecuting his journey in 
the night, and secreting himself during the day. 
Throughout this dangerous and protracted journey, 
his subsistence was derived, solely, from a few ar- 
ticles of food, which he had fortunately contrived 
to obtain on his escape from confinement; for he 
dared not show his face at any habitation. 

Early in October he arrived near the town of 
Goliad in Texas, where his attention was aroused 

TEXAS. 247 

by the approach of soldiers. He at first, naturally 
enough, conceived that he was overtaken, by his 
enemies; and knowing that if he again fell into 
their hands, he would be subjected to death or in- 
definite imprisonment, he prepared, although being 
but one against fifty, to sell his life as dearly as 
possible. How did his heart rebound however 
when, on nearer approach, he discovered them to 
be his Texan countrymen, on their march against 
the Mexican garrison at Goliad? By them he was 
furnished with food and clothing, for the want of 
which he was almost exhausted. In a few mo- 
ments he joined the little band and, as some small 
revenge for the injuries he had sustained, had the 
satisfaction of being among the foremost in storm- 
ing and capturing the garrison of Goliad. This 
being over, although he had been raised in the army 
of the United States- — had borne a distinguished 
part in the patriot wars of Mexico, and was accus- 
tomed and qualified to command; yet, by Way of 
example, he entered the ranks and cheerfully dis- 
charged the duties of a common soldier. As such 
he was in the army which besieged San Antonio; 
where, impatient of delay, he resolved upon and 
executed the bold attack which, though it proved 
fatal to himself, in its final catastrophe, rendered 
an important service to the Cause of liberty, and 
has embalmed his memory in the hearts of his admi- 
ring countrymen. 

On the evening of the 4th of December, he 
stepped forth from the ranks, and beat up for vol- 

248 TEXAS. 

unteers to storm the castle of San Antonio. His 
call was promptly answered. A Leonidas band 
of about three hundred immediately placed them- 
selves under his command. On the night of the 
5 th of December, they entered the town to attack 
a garrison of more than five times their numbers; 
who were also protected by forts, walls, houses, 
ditches, and twenty pieces of artillery. They 
entered, however, determined to "conquer or die." 
For six successive days and nights, they grappled 
with the enemy before they finally conquered. — 
They succeeded; but the death of their dauntless 
leader, who fell in the arms of victory, was the 
price of their triumph. He lies full low — but not 
forgotten. As long as the Texan flag shall wave 
from the Alamo, so long will his country be re* 
minded of his services. A mourning country and 
an admiring world, have already dropped the tear 
of sympathy over his untimely fate, and his name 
shall not lightly pass away, while a patriot's grati* 
tude can be awakened. When Texas shall have 
taken her stand proudly among the nations of the 
earth, as an independent republic, the constitutional 
liberty of the land for which he fought will stand, 
we trust imperishably, as a monument of the noble 
devotion, the distinguished merit, and the glorious 
death of the hero of San Antonio. 

Gen, John Austin, was one of those hardy sons 
of New England, who literally set off to seek their 
fortunes. Born of respectable and very religious 
parents, his grand father and father being succes • 

TEXAS. 249 

sively deacons in the parish where they lived, and 
highly exemplary, he early discovered that bust- 
ling spirit which cannot brook the constraints of 
a quiet and well ordered home — a spirit which 
leads abroad in successful enterprise, so many of 
the youth of that favoured land. While yet a boy 
he left his native Connecticut, and his father's 
house, to roam, he knew not whither, nor where- 
fore, and without letting any one know of his de- 
sign. For years his anxious parents thought 
their first born of a numerous offspring lost, sup- 
posing "he had gone to sea as is common in the sea- 
port towns of New England. It w 7 as the fact — he 
had gone before the mast, a common sailor. One 
of his voyages took him to a port of Mexico, and 
he made his way to the Metropolis, This happen- 
ed, while Gen. S. F. Austin was there engaged in 
the final arrangment, regarding his first Colony of 
Texas. Attracted by the name, or by the enter- 
prising character which belongs to it, the two gen- 
tlemen became known to each other, and though 
not at all related, an intimacy ensued which led to 
their return together to the scene of their after la- 
bors, and which ended but with the life of the sub- 
ject of this notice. He was one of the victims of 
the cholera in 18 33. 

Gen. John Austin was a valuable man in Texas. 
He had great strength of character, was foremost 
in every important crisis, and ready at every post 
of danger. His name appears at the head of many 
interesting documents. He was a faithful friend 

250 TEXAS. 

and good citizen. His aged father, hearing of his 
prosperous condition in Texas, went to visit his 
lost son. The author of this notice saw him in 
New Orleans on his way thither elated with the 
prospect. They met — but not in joy. They 
were united but in death — death by cholera, to 
which they both fell victims. 

Gen. John Austin would have gloried in this 
struggle fov Independence, and would have been 
foremost, as he ever had been, battling for his 

Don Lorenzo de Zavala is a name well know n 
throughout Spanish America, where it stands iden- 
tified with the cause of the people and republican 
institutions. He is a native of Yucatan, and one 
of her most distinguished citizens. He was elected 
a delegate by that captain-generalcy, to represent 
his country in the Cortes of Spain; was subse- 
quently, a conspicuous and influential member of 
both houses of the Mexican congress; Governor 
of his own State; minister of finance; and ambas- 
sador of the Republic. He took part in the patriot 
war of his native country ; and was proscribed by 
the Spanish authorities as a traitor. In 1 828-9, 
he fought by the side of the other Liberal generals, 
Santa Anna, and Sobato, in behalf of the Yorkino 
principles; and assisted in placing Guerrero in the 
presidential chair. He remained attached to the 
fortunes of Santa Anna, as long as the latter con- 
tinued to maintain his republican principles. At 
the time of the establishment of centralism, he was 

TEXAS. 251 

Minister from the Mexican Republic to France. 
But, upon hearing of the treachery of Santa Anna, 
to the cause in which they had both been so long 
and so ardently engaged, he immediately resigned 
his office, and accompanied his resignation with 
a very spirited letter to the President detailing his 
reasons; being unwilling to represent a govern- 
ment, in which the last pillar of liberty had been 
prostrated by the ambitions conduct of its presi- 
dent.* He condemned himself to voluntary exile; 
and, from his post, retired immediately to Texas; 
where he had obtained a large grant of land, with 
the purpose of establishing a colony there. 

In August, 1835, the commandant general, Mar- 
tin Perfecto de Cos, sent a demand to the Political 
Chief of the Department of Brazos, for the arrest 
of Zavala, and his delivery to the Mexican authori- 
ties, as a proscribed traitor. Col. Ugartechea was 
also ordered to move with a large body of cavalry 
under his command, to enforce the arrest of Zava- 
la, if the political Chief failed to deliver him up. 
He escaped however, and has lived to do good 
service in the Texan cause, which he ardently es- 
poused; and to sec the fall of a tyrant who had 
trampled upon the liberties of his country. He 
was elected a delegate to the convention which 
met at San Felipe on the 3d of November, 1835, 

*In this letter he told the Dictator that, "formerly, he had 
owed his success in arms to the justice of his cause, but now, 
that his cause was a bad one, liberal principles v.ould put him 
down." He has lived to see his predictions in r art f ut least^eri- 

252 TEXAS. 

and made the solemn declaration against central- 
ism. Possessing great influence among the Liber- 
als of the Mexican States, he warmly appealed 
them to sustain the constitution of 1824; but the 
presence of an overawing military prevented any 
successful movement of this kind. In the meantime 
the Texans had resolved to deliver up no citizen, 
which Zavala then was, to the demands of Mexico; 
and he became fully identified with their cause, by 
necessity, as he had been before by his devotion 
to liberal principles, and by his patriotism. As a 
delegate from the jurisprudence of Harrisburg, he 
signed the Declaration of Independence, made by 
the General Convention of Texas, at Washington, 
on the 2d of March, 1836. He is not only a dis- 
tinguished soldier, statesman, and patriot; but is 
probably among the first literary men of his nation. 
His work entitled "Travels in the United States," 
has been very favorably spoken of; and his reputa- 
tion as a scholar is inferior to none who claim that 
title in Mexico. Universally esteemed and beloved, 
nothing but that despotism, under which his na- 
tive country unhappily groans, and which fetters 
the spirit as well as the body, could have banished 
him from an admiring and affectionate people. 
Long will he be remembered by the citizens of 
Texas and cherished among them in the fervent 
gratitude which he has so justly inspired. 


Delivered by S. F. Austin of Texas, 

large Audience of Ladies and Gentlemen in the 
Second Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, on the 1th of March, 1836. 

It is with the most unfeigned and heartfelt 
gratitude that I appear before this enlightened au- 
dience, to thank the citizens of Louisville, as I do 
in the name of the people of Texas, for the kind 
and generous sympathy they have manifested in 
favor of the cause of that struggling country; and 
to make a plain statement of facts explanatory of 
the contest in which Texas is engaged with the 
Mexican Government. 

The public has been informed, through the me- 
dium of the newspapers, that war exists between 
the people of Texas and the present Government 
of Mexico. There are, however, many circum- 
stances connected with this contest, - its origin, its 
principles and objects which, perhaps, are not so 
generally known, and are indispensable to a full 
and proper elucidation of this subject. 

When a people consider themselves compelled by 
circumstances or by oppression, to appeal to arms 
and resort to their natural rights, they necessarily 
submit their cause to the great tribunal of public 
opinion. The people of Texas, confident in the 

254 TEXAS. 

justice of their cause, fearlessly and cheerfully 
appeal to this tribunal. In doing this the first 
step is to show, as I trust I shall be able to do by 
a succinctstatement of facts, that our cause is just, 
and is the cause of light and liberty :— the same holy 
cause for which our forefathers fought and bled: — 
die same that has an advocate in the bosom of 
every freeman, no matter in what country, or by 
what people it may be contended for. 

But a few years back Texas was a wilderness, 
the home of the uncivilized and wandering Co- 
manche and other tribes of Indians, who waged a 
constant and ruinous warfare against the Spanish 
settlements. These settlements at that time wero 
limited to the small towns of Bexar (commonly 
called San Antonio) and Goliad, situated on the 
western limits. The incursions of the Indians also 
extended beyond the Rio Bravo del Norte, and 
desolated that part of the country. 

lu order to restrain these savages and brmg 
them into subjection, the Government opened 
Texas or settlement. Foreign emigrants were 
invited and called to that country. American en- 
terprise accepted the invitation and promptly re- 
sponded to the call. The first colony of Americans 
or foreigners ever settled in Texas was by myself. 
It was commenced in 1821 under a permission to 
my father, Moses Austin, from the Spanish Gov- 
ernment previous to the Independence of Mexico, 
and has succeded by surmounting those difficulties 
and dangers incident to all new and wilderness 

TEXAS. 255 

countries infested with hostile Indians. These dif- 
ficulties were many and at times appalling, and can 
only be appreciated by the hardy pioneers of this 
western country, who have passed through similar 

The question here naturally occurs, what in- 
ducements, what prospects, what hopes could have 
stimulated us, the pioneers and settlers of Texas, 
to remove from the midst of civilized society, to 
expatriate ourselves from this land of liberty, from 
this our native country, endeared to us as it was, 
and still is, and ever will be, by the ties of nativi- 
ty, the reminiscences of childhood and youth and 
local attachments, of friendship and relationship? 
Can it for a moment be supposed that we severed 
all these ties — the ties of nature and of education, 
and went to Texas to grapple with the wilderness 
and with savage foes, merely from a spirit of wild 
and visionary adventure, without guaranties of 
protection for our persons and property and polit- 
ical rights? No, it cannot be believed. No Amer- 
ican, no Englishman, no one of any nation who has 
a knowledge of the people of the United States, 
or of the prominent characteristics of the Anglo- 
Saxon race to which we belong — a race that in all 
ages and in all countries wherever it has appeared 
has been marked for a jealous and tenacious watch- 
fulness of its liberties, and for a cautious and cal- 
culating view of the probable events of the future — ■ 
no one who has a knowledge of this race can or 
will believe that we removed to Texas without 

256 TEXAS. 

such guaranties, as free born and enterprising men 
naturally expect and require. 

The fact is, we had such guaranties; lor, in the 
first place the Government bound itself to protect 
us by the mere act of admitting us as citizens, 
on the general and long established principle, even 
in the dark ages, that protection and allegiance are 
reciprocal — a principle which in this enlightened 
age has been extended much further; for its receiv- 
ed interpretation now is, that the object of gov- 
ernment is the well being, security, and happiness 
of the governed, and that allegiance ceases when- 
ever it is clear, evident, and palpable, that this ob- 
ject is in no respect efteeted. 

But besides this general guarantee, we had others 
of a special, definite, and positive character — the 
colonization laws of 1823, '24, and '25, inviting 
emigrants generally to that country, specially 
guarantied protection for person and property, 
and the right of citizenship. 

When the federal system and constitution were 
adopted in 1 824, and the former provinces became 
States, Texas, by her representative in the Consti- 
tutional Congress, exercised the right which was 
claimed and exercised by all the provinces, of re- 
taining within her own control, the rights and pow- 
ers which appertained to her as one of the unities 
or distinct societies, which were confederated to- 
gether to form the federal republic of Mexico. 
But not possessing at that time sufficient popula- 
tion to become a State by herself, she was with her 

TEXAS. 257 

own consent united provisionally with Coahuila, 
a neighboring province or society, to form the 
State of Coahuila and Texas, "until Texas pos- 
sessed the necessary elements to prove a separate 
State of herself" I quote the words of the con- 
stitutional or organic act passed by the Constituent 
Congress of Mexico, on the 7th of May, 1824, 
which establishes the State of Coahuila and Texas. 
This law, and the principles on which the Mexican 
federal compact was formed, gave to Texas a spe- 
cific political existence, and vested in her inhabi- 
tants the special and well defined rights of self- 
government as aState of the Mexican confederation 
so soon as she "possessed the necessary elements." 
Texas consented to the provisional union with Coa- 
huila on the faith of this guaranty. It was there- 
fore a solemn compact, which neither the State of 
Coahuila and Texas nor the general government of 
Mexico can change without the consent of the 
people of Texas, 

In 1833 the people of Texas, after a full exami 
nation of their population and resources, and of 
the law and constitution, decided, in a general con- 
vention elected for that purpose, that the period 
had arrived contemplated by said law and com- 
pact of 7th May, 1824, and that the country pos- 
sessed the necessary elements to form a State sep- 
arate from Coahuila. A respectful and humble 
petition was accordingly drawn up by this con 
vention, addressed to the general Congress of Mex- 
ico, praying for the admission of Texas into the 

258 TEXAS. 

M exican confederation as a State. I had the 
nonor of being appointed by the convention the 
commissioner or agent of Texas to take this peti- 
tion to the city of Mexico, and present it to the 
government. I discharged this duty to the best of 
my feeble abilities, and, as I believed, in a respect- 
ful manner. Many months passed and nothing 
was done with the petition, except to refer it to a 
committee of Congress, where it slept and was likely 
to sleep. I finally urged the just and constitutional 
claims of Texas to become a State in the most 
pressing manner, as I believed it to be my duty to 
do; representing also the necessity and good pol- 
icy of this measure, owing to the almost total want 
of local good of any kind, the absolute want of a 
judiciary, the evident impossibility of being govern- 
ed any longer by Coahuila, (for three fourths of 
the Legislature were from there.) and the con- 
sequent anarchy and discontent that existed in 
Texas. It was my misfortune to offend the high 
authorities of the nation — my frank and honest ex- 
position of the truth was construed into threats. 
At this time (September and October, 1833,) a 
revolution was raging in many parts of the nation, 
and especially in the vicinity of the city of Mexi- 
co. I despaired of obtaining any thing, and wrote 
to Texas, recommending to the people there to or- 
ganize as a State de facto without waiting any 
longer. This letter may have been imprudent, as 
respects the injury it might do me personally, but 
how far it was criminal or treasonable, considering 

TEXAS. 259 

the revolutionary state of the whole nation, and 
the peculiar claims and necessities of Texas, im- 
partial men must decide. It merely expressed an 
opinion. This letter found its way from San An- 
tonio de Bexar (where it was directed) to the gov 
ernment. I was arrested at Saltillo, two hundred 
leagues from Mexico, on my way home, taken 
back to that city and imprisoned one year, three 
months of the time in solitary confinement, without 
books or writing materials, in a dark dungeon of 
the former Inquisition prison. At the close of the 
year I was released from confinement, but detained 
six months in the city on heavy bail. It was nine 
months after my arrest before I was officially in- 
formed of the charges against me, or furnished with 
a copy of them. The constitutional requisites 
were not observed, my constitutional rights as a 
citizen were violated, the people of Texas were 
outraged by this treatment of their commissioner, 
and their respectful, humble and just petition was 

These acts of the Mexican government, taken 
in consideration with many others and with the 
general revolutionary situation of the interior of 
the republic, and the absolute want of local gov- 
ernment in Texas, would have justified the people 
of Texas in organizing themselves as a State of 
the Mexican confederation, and if attacked for so 
doing in separating from Mexico. They would 
have been justifiable in doing this, because such 
acts were unjust, ruinous and oppressive, and be- 

260 TEXAS. 

cause self-preservation required a local government 
in Texas suited to the situation and necessities of 
the country and the character of its inhabitants. 
Our forefathers in '76 flew to arms for much less. 
They resisted a principle, " the theory of oppres- 
sion? but in our case it was the reality— -it was a 
denial of justice and our guarantied rights — it was 
oppression itself. 

Texas, however, even under these aggravated 
circumstances forbore and remained quiet. The 
constitution, although outraged by the sport of 
faction and revolution, still existed in name, and 
the people of Texas still looked to it with the hope 
that it would be sustained and executed, and the 
vested rights of Texas respected, I will now pro- 
ceed to show how this hope was defeated by the 
total prostration of the constitution, the destruc- 
tion of the federal system, and the dissolution of 
the federal compact. 

It is well known that Mexico has been in con- 
stant revolutions and confusion, with only a few 
short intervals, ever since its separation from 
Spain in 1821. This unfortunate state of things 
has been produced by the efforts of the ecclesiasti- 
cal and aristocratical party to oppose republican- 
ism, overturn the federal system and constitution, 
and establish a monarchy or a consolidated gov- 
ernment of some kind. 

In 1834, the President of the Republic, Gen. 
Santa Anna, who heretofore wcs the leader and 
champion of the republican party and system, be- 

TEXAS. 263 

came the head and leader of his former antagonists — 
the aristocratic and church party. With this acces- 
sion and strength, this party triumphed. The consti- 
tutional general Congress of 1834, which was decid- 
edly republican and federal, was dissolved in May 
of that year by a militaiy order of the President 
before its constitutional term had expired. The 
council of government composed of half the Sen- 
ate which, agreeably to the constitution, ought to 
have been installed the day after closing the ses- 
sion of Congress, was also dissolved; and a new 
revolutionary and unconstitutional Congress was 
convened by another military order of the Presi- 
dent. This Congress met on the 1st of January, 
1835. It was decidedly aristocratic, ecclesiasti- 
cal and central in its politics. A number of peti- 
tions were presented to it from several towns and 
villages, praying that it would change the federal 
form of government and establish a central form. 
These petitions were all of a revolutionary charac- 
ter, and were called " pronundamientos" or pro- 
nouncements for centralism. They were formed 
by partial and revolutionary meetings gotten up 
by the military and priests. Petitions in favor of 
the federal system and constitution, and protests 
against such revolutionary measures, were also 
sent in by the people and by some of the State Leg- 
islatures, who still retained firmness to express their 
opinions. The latter were disregarded and their 
authors persecuted and imprisoned. The former 
were considered sufficient to invest Congress with 

262 TEXAS. 

plenary powers. It accordingly, by a decree, 
deposed the constitutional Vice President, Gomez 
Farias, who was a leading federalist, without any 
impeachment or trial, or even the form of a trial, 
and elected another of their own party, Gen. Barra- 
gan, in his place. By another decree it united the 
Senate with the House of Representatives in one 
chamber, and, thus constituted, it declared itself 
invested with full powers as a national convention. 
In accordance with these usurped powers, it pro- 
ceeded to annul the federal constitution and sys- 
tem, and to establish a central or consolidated 
government. How far it has progressed in the de- 
tails of this new system is unknown to us. The 
decree of the 3d of October last, which fixes the 
outlines of the new government, is however suf- 
ficient to show that the federal system and com- 
pact is dissolved and centralism established. The 
States are converted into departments. This de- 
cree is as follows as translated: 

[Decree of the 3d October, 1835.] 

"Office of the First Secretary of ) 
Slate, Interior Department. \ 
" JT is Excellency the President pro tern, of the Mexican 
United States to the inhabitanlsof the Republic. Know 
ye, that the General Congress has decreed the follow- 
ing : 

"Art. 1. The present Governors of the Stales shall 
continue, notwithstanding the lime fixed by the Constitu- 
tion may have expired; but shall be dependent for their 
continuance in the exercise of their attributes upon the 
supreme government of the nation. 

•'Abt. 2. The Legislatures shall immediately cease to 

TEXAS. 263 

exercise their legislative functions ; but before dissolving 
(and those which may be in recess meeting for the pur- 
pose) they shall appoint a department council, composed 
for the present of five individuals, chosen either within or 
without their own body, to act as acouncil to the governor; 
and in case of a vacancy in that office, they shall propose 
to the supreme general government three persons, possess- 
ing the qualifications hitherto required ; and until an ap- 
pointment be made, the gubernatorial powers shall be ex- 
ercised by the first on the list, who is not an ecclesiastic. 

"Art. J3. In those States where the Legislature cannot 
be assembled within eight days, the ayuntamiento* of the 
capital shall act in its place, only for the purpose of elec f - 
ing the five individuals of the department council. 

"Art. 4. All the judges and tribunals of the States, 
and the administration of justice, shall continue as hither- 
to, until the organic law relative to this branch be formed. 
The responsibilities of the functionaries which could only 
be investigated before Congress, shall be referred to and 
concluded before the supreme court of the nation. 

"Art. 5. All the subaltern officers of the State shah 
also continue for the present, (the places which are vacant, 
or which may be vacated, not to be filled,) but they, as well 
as the offices, revenues and branches under their charge, 

* The ayuntamientns arc the municipal bodies, or corpora- 
tions of citit ?, and are similar to the mayor and council, or 
corporations of the cities in the United States. To explain by 
a comparison the unconstitutional power vested by the decree 
of 3d of October in the ayuntamicntos, or corporations of capi- 
tals of the States, we have only to suppose that a similar decree 
to this one of the 3d of October, was passed by the Congress of 
the United States, and that the Legislature of Kentucky was 
not in session and could not be convened, and that the corpo- 
ration or municipal authority of Frankfort, acting in the name 
and as the representative of the whole State, was to nominate 
five persons to compose the department council of Kentucky, 
which by such a decree as this one of 3d October, would be 
converted from a State into a department of the consolidated 
government, like the departments of France. 

264 TEXAS. 

remain subject to and at the disposal of the supreme gov^ 
ernment of the nation, by means of their respective gov- 
ernors."— City of Mexico, Oct. 3d, 1835. 

MIGUEL BARRAGAN, President, pro. tern. 
Manuel Dias de Bonilla, Secretary of State. 

For the information of those who are not ac- 
quainted with the organization of the Mexican 
Republic under the federal system and constitution 
of 1821, it may be necessary to state that this 
constitution is copied, as to its general principles, 
from that of the United States, The general Con- 
gress had the same organization and was elected 
in the same manner. A Senate elected by the 
State Legislatures for four years, and a House of 
Representatives elected by the people for two 
years. A President and Vice President elected 
for four years, and removable only by impeach- 
ment and trial. The mode of amending the con- 
stitution was clearly fixed. The powers of the 
States w r ere the same in substance as the States of 
the United States, and in some instances greater. 
During the recess of Congress, half the Senate 
formed the council of government. 

By keeping these facts in view, and then sup- 
posing the case that the President and Congress of 
these United States were to do what the President 
and Congress of Mexico have done, and that one 
of the States was to resist and insist on sustaining 
the federal constitution and state rights, and a par- 
allel case would be presented of the present con- 

TEXAS. 265 

test between Texas and the revolutionary gov- 
ernment of Mexico. 

In further elucidation of this subject, I will pre- 
sent an extract from a report made by me to the 
provisional government of Texas on the 30th of 
November last, communicating the said decree of 
3d October. 

"That every people have the right to change their gov- 
ernment, is unquestionable; but it is equally certain and 
true, that this change to be morally or politically obliga- 
tory, must be effected by the free expression of (he com- 
munity, and by legal and constitutional means ; for other- 
wise, the stability of governments and the rights of the 
people would be at the mercy of the fortunate revolution- 
ists of violence or faction. 

"Admitting, therefore, that a central and despotic, or 
strong government, is best adapted to the education and 
habits of a portion of the Mexican people, and that they 
wish it ; this does not, and cannot, give to them the right 
to dictate, by unconstitutional means and force, to the 
other portion who have equal rights, and differ in opinion. 

"Had the change been effected by constittttional means, 
or had a national convention been convened, and every 
member of the confederacy been fairly represented, and 
a majority agreed to the change, it would have placed the 
matter on different ground; but, even then, it would be 
monstrous to admit the principle, that a majority have the 
right to destroy the minority, for the reason, that self-pre- 
servation is superior to all political obligations. That 
such a government as is contemplated by the before men- 
tioned decree of the 3d of October, would destroy the 
people of Texas, must be evident to all, when they con- 
sider its geographical situation, so remote from the con- 
templated centre of legislation and power; populated as 
it is, by a people who are so different in education, habits, 

266 TEXAS. 

customs, language, and local wants, from al! the rest of 
(lie nation; and especially when a portion of the central 
party have manifested violent religious and other preju- 
dices and jealousies against them. But no national 
convention was convened, and the constitution has been, 
and now is, violated and disregarded. The constitutional 
aulhoril ies of the State of (Joahuiia and Texas, solemnly 
protested against the change of government, for which 
act they were driven by military /orce from office, and 
imprisoned.* The people of Texas protest against it, as 
they had a right to do, for which they have been declared 
rebels by the government in Mexico. 

*• However necessary , (hen, the basis established by 
the decree of the 3d of October, may be to prevent civil 
wars and anarchy in ether pans of Mexico, it is attempt- 
ed to be effected by forte and unconstitutional means. 
However beneficial it may be to some parts of Mexico, 
it would be ruinous to Texas. This view presents t lie 
whole subject to the people. If they submit to a forcible 
and unconstitutional destruction of the social compact, 
which they have sworn to support, they violate their oaths. 
If they submit to he tamely destroyed, they disregard their 
duty to themselves, and violate the first law which God 
stamped upon the heart of man, civilized or savage; which 
is the law or the right of self-preservation. 

* The Legislature of the State of Coahnila and Texasof 
1835, which made this protes-1, w;^ dissolved by a military 
force acting under the orders of Gen. Cos, and the Governor, 
Don Augustin Viesca, the Secretary of Stat J , and several of the 
Members of the Legislature were imprisoned. Col. Benjamin 
R. Milam, who fell at San Antonio de Bexar, and several other 
Texans were at Moncova, the capital of the State, when those 
events took place — they took a decided stand in support of the 
State authorities and the constitution. Milam was taken pris- 
oner with the Governor, the others escaped to Austin's colony, 
and the local authorities were commanded by a military order 
from General Cos to deliver them up to him. This order was 
not obeyed of course: it was the precursor of the invasion of 
Texa? by this General in October. 



"The decree of the 3d October, therefore, if carried 
into effect, evidently leaves no remedy for Texas but re- 
sistance, secession from Mexico, and a direct resort to 
natural rights. 1 ' 

These revolutionary measures of the party who 
had usurped the government in Mexico, were re- 
sisted by the people in the States of Pueblo, Oax- 
aco, Mexico, Jalisco, and other parts of the nation. 
The State of ,Zacatecas took up arms, but its ef- 
forts were crushed by an army headed by the 
President General Santa Anna in person, and the 
people of that State were disarmed and subjected 
to a military government In October last a mili- 
tary force was sent to Texas under Gen. Cos for 
the purpose of enforcing these unconstitutional 
and revolutionary measures, as had been done in 
Zacatecas and other parts of the nation. This act 
roused the people of Texas and the war com- 

Without exhausting the patience by a detail of 
numerous other vexatious circumstances and vio- 
lations of our rights, I trust that what I have said 
on this point is sufficient to show that the federal 
social compact of Mexico is dissolved; that we 
have just and sufficient cause to take up arms 
against the revolutionury government which has 
been established; that we have forborne un- 
til the cup was full to overflowing; and that fur- 
ther forbearance or submission on our part would 
have been both ruinous and degrading; and that 
it was due to the great cause of liberty, to our- 

268 TEXAS. 

selves, to our posterity, and to the free blood 
which, I am proud to say, fills our veins, to insist 
and proclaim war against such acts of usurpation 
and oppression. 

The justice of our cause being clearly shown, 
the most important question that naturall} presents 
itself to the intelligent and inquiring mind is, what 
are the objects and intentions of the people of 
Texas ? 

To this we reply that our object is freedom — 
civil and religious freedom — emancipation from 
that government and that people who, after fifteen 
years experiment since they have been separated 
from Spain, have shown that they were incapable 
of self government, and that all hopes of any thing 
like stability or rational liberty in their political in- 
stitutions — at least for many years — are vain and 

This object we expect to obtain by a total sepa- 
ration from Mexico as an independent communi- 
ty — a new republic — or by becoming a State oi 
the United States. Texas would have been satis- 
fied to have been a State of the Mexican Confed- 
eration, and she made every constitutional effort 
in her power to become one. But that is no lon- 
ger practicable, for that confederation no longer ex- 
ists. One of the two alterations above-mentioned, 
therefore, is the only recourse which the revolu- 
tionary government of Mexico has left her. Either 
will secure the liberties and prosperity of Texas, 
for either will secure to us the right of self-govern- 

TEXAS. 269 

ment over a country which we have redeemed 
from the wilderness, and conquered without any 
aid or protection whatever from the Mexican gov- 
ernment, (for we never received any) and which 
is clearly ours. Ours by every principle by which 
original titles to countries are, and ever have been 
founded. We have explored and pioneered it, de- 
veloped its resources, made it known to the world, 
and given to it a high and rapidly increasing value. 
The federal republic of Mexico,had a constitutional 
right to participate generally in this value, but it 
had not, and cannot have any other; and this one 
has evidently been forfeited and destroyed by un- 
constitutional acts and usurpation, and by the 
total dissolution of the social compact. Conse- 
quently, the true and legal owners of Texas, the 
only legitimate sovereigns of that country, are the 
people of Texas. 

It is also asked, what is the present situation of 
Texas, and what are our resources to effect our ob- 
jects and defend our rights? 

The present position of Texas is an absolute 
Declaration of Independence — a total separation 
from Mexico. This declaration was made on the 
7th of November last. It is as follows: 
«« Whereas, Gen. Antonio LopezdeSanla Anna, and other 
military chieftains, have by force of arms, overthrown 
the federal institutions of Mexico, and dissolved the 
social compact which existed between Texas and the 
other members of the Mexican Confederacy, now the 
good people of Texas, availing themselves of their nat- 
ural rights, SOLEMNLY DECLARE, 

270 TEXAS. 

"1st. That they have taken up arms in defence of their 
rights and liberties, which were threatened by encroach- 
ments of military despots, and in defence of the republi- 
can principles of the federal constitution of Mexico of 

•* 2d. That Texas is no longer morally or civilly bound 
b/ the compact of Union; yet stimulated by the gene- 
rosity and sympathy common to a free people, they offer 
their support and assistance to such of the members of the 
Mexican Confederacy, as will take up arms against mili- 
tary despotism. 

"3d. That they do not acknowledge that the'present au- 
thorities of the nominal Mexican Republic have the right 
to govern within the limits of Texas. 

" 4th. That they will not cease to carry on war against 
the said authorities, whilst their troops are within the 
limits of Texas. 

"5th. That they hold it to be their right, during the 
disorganization of the federal system and the reign of des- 
potism, to withdraw from the Union, to establish an inde- 
pendent government, or to adopt such measures as they 
may deem best calculated to protect their rights and lib- 
erties; but that they will continue faithful to the Mexican 
government, so long as that nation is governed by the 
constitution and laws that were framed for the govern- 
ment of the political association. 

" 6th. That Texas is responsible for the expenses o( her 
armies, now in the field. 

"7th. That the public faith of Texas is pledged for the 
payment of any debts contracted by her agents. 

"8th. That she will reward by donations in land all 
who volunteer their services in her present struggle, and 
receive them as citizens. 

" These declarations we solemnly avow to the world, 
and call God to witness their truth and sincerity, and in- 
voke defeat and disgrace upou our heads, should we prove 
guilty of duplicity." 

TEXAS. 271 

It is worthy of particular attention that this de- 
claration affords- another and an unanswerable 
proof of the forbearance of the Texans and of 
their firm adherence, even to the last moment, to 
the constitution which they had sworn to support, 
and to their political obligations as Mexican citi- 
zens. For, although at this very time the federal 
system and constitution of 1824 had been over- 
turned and trampled under foot by military usur- 
pation in all other parts of the republic, and al- 
though our country was actually invaded by the 
usurpers for the purpose of subjecting us to the 
military rule, the people of Texas still said to the 
Mexican nation — " restore the federal constitution 
and govern in conformity to the social compact 
which we are all bound by our oaths to sustain, and 
we will continue to be a member of the Mexican 
Confederation." This noble and generous act, for 
such it certainly w\as under the circumstances, is 
of itself sufficient to repel and silence the false 
charges which the priests and despots of Mexico, 
have made of the ingratitude of the Texans. In 
what does this ingratitude consist? I cannot see, 
unless it be in our enterprise and perseverance in 
giving value to a country that the Mexicans con- 
sidered valueless, and thus exciting their jealousy 
and cupidity. 

To show more strongly the absurdity of this 
charge of ingratitude, &c. made by the general 
government of Mexico, and of the pretended 
claiiis to liberality, which they set up, for having 

272 TEXAS. 

given fortunes in land to the settlers of Texas. It 
must be remembered that, with the exception of 
the first three hundred families settled by myself, 
the general government have never granted or 
given one foot of land in Texas. The vacant 
land belonged to the State of Coahuila and Texas 
so long as they remained united, and to Texas so 
soon as she was a State separate from Coahuila. 
Since the adoption of the federal system in 
1824, the general government have never had any 
power or authority whatever to grant, sell, or give 
any land in Texas, nor in any other State. This 
power was vested in the respective States. The 
lands of Texas have therefore been distributed by 
the State of Coahuila and Texas, (with the ex- 
ception of the three hundred families above men- 
tioned) and not by the general government, and, 
consequently, it is truly absurd for that govern- 
ment to assume any credit for an act in which it 
had no participation, and more especially when 
it has for years past thrown every obstacle in the 
way to impede the progress of Texas, as is evident 
from the 11th article of the law of the 6th April, 
1830, which absolutely prohibited the emigration 
to Texas of citizens of the United States; and 
many other acts of a similar nature — such as vex- 
atious custom-house regulations, passports, and 
garrisoning the settled parts of the country where 
troops were not needed to protect it from the In- 
dians, nor from any other enemy. It is therefore 
clear that if any credit for liberality is due, it is to 
the State government, and how far it is entitled to 

TEXAS. 273 

this credit, men of judgment must decide, with the 
knowledge of the fact that it sold the lands of 
Texas at from thirty to fifty dollars per square 
league, Mexican measure, which is four thousand 
four hundred and twenty-eight acres English, and 
considering they were getting a high price and 
full value for it. 

The true interpretation of this charge of ingrat- 
itude is as follows: The Mexican government have 
at last discovered that the enterprising people 
who were induced to remove to Texas by certain 
promises and guaranties, have by their labors giv- 
en value to Texas and its lands. An attempt is 
therefore now made to take them from us and to 
annul all those guaranties, and we are ungrateful 
because we are not sufficiently "docile" to sub- 
mit to this usurpation and injustice as the "docile" 
Mexicans have in other parts of the nation. 

To close this matter about ingratitude, I will 
ask — if it was not ingratitude in the people of the 
United States to resist the "throng of oppression" 
and separate from England? — can it be ingratitude 
in the people of Texas to resist oppression and 
usurpation by separating from Mexico? 

To return to the declaration of the 7th of No- 
vember last, it will be observed that it is a total sepa- 
ration from Mexico— an absolute declaration of 
independence — in the event of the destruction of 
the federal compact or system, and the establish- 
ment of centralism. This event has taken place. 
The federal compact is dissolved, and a central or 

274 TEXAS. 

consolidated government is established. I there* 
fore repeat that the present position of Texas is 
absolute independence: — a position in which we 
have been placed by the unconstitutional and re- 
volutionary acts of the Mexican government. 
The people of Texas firmly adhered to the last 
moment to the constitution which they and the 
wiiole nation had sworn to support. 

The government of Mexico have not — the party 
now in power have overturned the constitutional 
government and violated their oaths — they have 
separated from their obligations, from their duty 
and from the people of Texas; and, consequently, 
they are the true rebels. So far from being grate- 
ful, as they ought to be, to the people of Texas 
for having given value to that country, and for 
having adhered to their duty and constitutional 
obligations, the Mexicans charge us with these 
very acts as evidence of ingratitude. Men of 
judgment and impartiality must decide this point, 
and determine who has been, and now is ungrate- 

In order to make the position of Texas more 
clear to the world, a convention has been called 
to meet the first of March, and is no doubt now 
in session, for the express purpose of publishing a 
positive and unqualified declaration of indepen- 
dence and organizing a permanent government. 

Under the declaration of 7th November, a pro- 
vincial government has been organized, compound- 
ed of an executive head or governor, a legislative 

TEXAS. 275 

council, and a judiciary. A regular army has been 
formed, which is now on the western frontiers 
prepared to repel an invasion should one be at- 
tempted. A naval force has been fitted out which 
is sufficient to protect our coast. We have met 
the invading force that entered Texas in October 
under Gen. Cos, and beaten him in every contest 
and skirmish, and driven every hostile soldier out 
of Texas. In San Antonio de Bexar he was en- 
trenched in strong fortifications, defended by heavy 
cannon and a strong force of regular troops greatly 
superior to ours in number, which was of undis- 
ciplined militia without any experienced officer. 
This place was besieged by the militia of Texas. 
The enemy was driven into his works; his pro- 
visions cui off, and the spirits and energies of his 
soldiers worn down, with the loss of only on* 
man to the Texans, and the place was then taken 
by storm. A son of Kentucky, a noble and brave 
spirit from this land of liberty and of chivalry, 
led the storm. He conquered, and died, as such 
a spirit wished to die, in the cause of liberty, and 
in the arms of victory. Texas weeps for her Milam; 
Kentucky has cause to be proud of her son. His 
free spirit appeals to his countrymen to embark in 
the holy cause of liberty for which he died, and 
to avenge his death. 

I pass to an examination of the resources of 
Texas. We consider them sufficient to effect and 
sustain our independence. We have one of the 
finest countries in the world, a soil surpassed by 

276 TEXAS. 

none for agriculture and pasturage, not even by 
the fairest portions of Kentucky — a climate that 
may be compared to Italy; within the cotton 
or sugar region, intersected by navigable rivers, 
and bounded by the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, 
on which there are several fine bays and harbors 
suitable for all the purposes of commerce — a pop- 
ulation of about seventy thousand, which is rapid- 
ly increasing, and is generally compounded of men 
of very reputable education and property, en- 
terprising bold and energetic, devotedly attached 
to liberty and their country, inured to the use of 
arms, and at all times ready to use them, and de- 
fend their homes inch by inch if necessary. The 
exportations of cotton are large. Sheep, cattle 
and hogs are very abundant and cheap. The rev- 
enue from importations and direct taxes will be 
considerable and rapidly increasing, the vacant 
lands are very extensive and valuable, and may 
be safely relied upon as a great source of revenues 
and as bounties to emigrants. 

The credit of Texas is good, as is proven by 
the extensive loans already negotiated. The coun- 
try and army are generally well supplied with 
arms and ammunition, and the organized force in 
February last in the field exceeded two thousand, 
and is rapidly increasing. But besides these re- 
sources, we have one which ought not, and certain- 
ly will not fail us — it is our cause — the cause of 
light and liberty, of religious toleration and pure 
religion. To suppose that such a cause will fail, 

TEXAS. 277 

when defended by anglo-Saxon blood, by Ameri- 
cans and on the limits, and at the very door of this 
free and philanthropic and magnanimous nation, 
would be calumny against republicanism and free 
dom, against a noble race, and against the philan- 
thropic principles of the people of the United States. 
I therefore repeat th at we consider our resources 
sufficient to effect our independence against the 
Mexicans, wlio are disorganized and enfeebled by 
revolutions, and almost destitute of funds or credit. 
Another interesting question which naturally occurs 
to every one, is, what great benefits and advantages 
are to result to philanthropy and religion, or to the 
people of these United States, from the emanci- 
pation of Texas ? To this we reply, that ours is 
most truly and emphatically the cause of liberty, 
which is the cause of philanthropy, of religion, 
of mankind; for in its train follow freedom of con- 
science, pure morality, enterprise, the arts and 
sciences, all that is dear to the noble-minded and 
the free, all that renders life precious. On this 
principle the Greeks and the Poles, and all others 
who have struggled for liberty, have received the 
sympathies or aid of the people of the United 
States; on this principle the liberal party in priest- 
ridden Spain, is now receiving the aid of high- 
minded and free born Englishmen; on this same 
principle Texas expects to receive the sympathies 
and aid of her brethren, the people of the United 
States, and of the freemen of all nations. But the 
Greeks and the Poles are not parallel cases with 

278 TEXAS. 

ours — they are not the sons and daughters of 
anglo-Americans. We are. We look to this hap- 
py land as to a fond mother from whose bosom we 
have imbibed those great principles of liberty 
which are now nerving us, although comparative- 
ly few in numbers and weak in resources, to con- 
tend against the whole Mexican nation in defence 
of our rights. 

The emancipation of Texas will extend the prin- 
ciples of self government over a rich and neighbor- 
ing country, and open a vast field there for enter- 
prise, wealth, and happiness and for those who 
w ish to escape from the frozen blasts of a northern 
climate by removing to a more congenial one. It 
will promote and accelerate the march of the pres- 
ent age, for it will open a door through which a 
bright and constant stream of light and intelligence 
will flow from this great northern fountain over the 
benighted region of Mexico. 

That nation of our continent will be regenerated; 
freedom of conscience and rational liberty will 
take root in that distant and, by nature, much fa- 
vored lar.-d, in which forages past the upas banner of 
the inquisition, of intolerance, and of despotism 
has paralized, and sickened, and deadt-ned every 
effort in favor of civil and religious liberty. 

But apart from these great principles of philan- 
thropy, and narrowing down this question to the 
contracted limits of cold and prudent political cal- 
culation, a view may be taken of it, which doubt- 
Jess has not escaped the penetration of the saga- 

TEXAS. 279 

cious and cautious politicians of the United States. 
It is the great importance of Americanizing Texas, 
by filling it with a population from this country 
who will harmonize in language, in political edu- 
cation, in common origin, in every thing, with their 
neighbors to the east and north. By this means 
Texas will become a great outwork on the west 
to protect the outlet of this western world, the 
mouths of the Mississippi, as Alabama and Flori- 
da are on the east; and to keep far away from 
the southwestern frontier — the weakest and most 
vulnerable in the nation — all enemies who might 
make Texas a door for invasion, or use it as a 
theatre from which mistaken philanthropists, and 
wild fanatics might attempt a system of interven- 
tion in the domestic concerns of the South, which 
might lead to a servile war, or at least jeopardize 
the tranquillity of Louisiana and the neighboring 

This view of the subject is a very important 
one, so much so that a bare allusion to it is suffi- 
cient to direct the mind to the various interests 
and results, immediate and remote, that are in- 

To conclude, I have shown that our cause is 
just and righteous, that it is the great cause of 
mankind, and as such merits the approbation and 
moral support of this magnanimous and free peo- 
ple. That our object is independence as a new 
republic, or to become a State of these United 
States ; that our resources are sufficient to sustain 

280 TEXAS. 

the principles we are defending; that the results 
will be the promotion of the great cause of liberty, 
of philanthropy and religion, and the protection 
of a great and important interest to the people of 
the United States. 

With these claims to the approbation and moral 
support of the free of all nations — the people of 
Texas have taken up arms in self-defence, and they 
submit their cause to the judgment of an impartial 
world, and to the protection of a just and omnip- 
otent God. 


History of Gen. Austin and his Colony. 

The first settlement of this colony by General 
Austin and his little band of hardy pioneers, dis- 
plays a spirit of noble enterprise not often sur- 
passed. If the project of establishing such a 
colony in Texas did not originate with the Aus- 
tins, it was the first proposal of the kind that was 
accepted by the Mexican authorities, and it can- 
not be denied, that the sagacity, the prudence, the 
industry and perseverance, displayed by General 
Austin in the successful execution of the underta- 
king, are worthy of all admiration. A short his- 
tory of the origin of the colony, with some of the 
difficulties which embarrassed its first struggles for 
existence, cannot fail to be interesting. 

The idea of forming a settlement of North Amer- 
icans in the wilderness of Texas, it is believed, 
originated with Moses Austin, esq. of Missouri, 
and, after the conclusion of De Onis's treaty, in 
1819, efforts were made by him to put matters 
in train for an application to the Spanish govern- 
ment in Old Spain. In answer to his inquiries as 
to the best mode of laying the subject before the 
Spanish government, he was advised to apply to 
the Spanish authorities in New Spain. A memo- 
rial was accordingly presented, and his application 

282 TEXAS. 

granted, on the 17thJanuary, 1821, by the supreme 
government of the Eastern Internal Provinces of 
New Spain, at Monterey. Authority was hereby 
granted to Mr Austin to introduce three hundred 
families into Texas, on terms that were satisfacto- 
ry to both parties. 

At this juncture of affairs, before any location 
for the inte ided colony was fixed upon, in the 
midst of diligent preparations to fulfil his engage- 
ment, Mr Moses Austin died. His health had suf- 
fered greatly by exposure to bad weather, from 
swimming and rafting rivers, and from want of 
provisions on his return to Missouri from Bexar; 
for at that time Texas was an entire wilderness 
from Bexar to the Sabine. A severe cold, occa- 
sioned by this exposure, terminated in an inflam- 
mation of the lungs, which finally put an end to 
his mortal life. 

This gentleman was a native of Durham, in the 
State of Connecticut, and presents an eminent 
specimen of the enterprising character of the 
New England people. At a very early age, im- 
pelled by a thirst of knowledge, and an ambition 
to make a speedy fortune, he left his native state, 
and, at the age of twenty, was married to Miss 
Maria Brown, in Philadelphia. Shortly afterwards, 
in partnership with his brother, Stephen Austin, 
he purchased the lead mines, called Chessel's 
Mines, on New river, Wythe county, Virginia, 
to which he removed, and established a regular 
system of mining and smelting, together with the 

TEXAS. 283 

manufacture of shot, sheet-lead, &c. Miners and 
mechanics to prosecute this business, were intro- 
duced from England, for at that time, manufactures, 
of this description were in their infancy in the 
United States. Owing to causes beyond his con- 
trol, this enterprise failed of success. Having 
received flattering accounts of the lead mines in 
Upper Louisiana, now Missouri, he resolved to 
visit that distant and unknow r n country. Accord- 
ingly, having procured the necessary passports 
from the Spanish minister, he visited Upper Lou- 
isiana in 1799, and procured a grant from the 
Governor General, Baron de Carondelet, for one 
league of land, including the Mine-a-Burton, now. 
called Potosi, forty miles west of St. Genevieve.* 
After closing all his affairs in the United States, he 
removed his family, with a number of others from 
Wythe county, by a new and almost untried 
route, down the Kenhawa river, to his new grant 
in 1799, and laid a foundation for the settlement, 
of, what is now called, Washington county, in 
Missouri. The early settlers of this country will 
bear ample testimony to his enterprise, public spirit, 
and honorable character. The exercise of these 
generous qualities, in fact, brought on another re- 
verse of fortune, and compelled him to turn, with 
unabated ardour, in the decline of life, to a new 
and hazardous enterprise in the wilderness of 

* Where still stands Durham Hall, the ancient seat of hospi- 
tality in the wilderness. 

284 TEXAS, 

At his death, Mr. Moses Austin left a request, 
that his son, Stephen F. Austin, should prosecute 
the enterprise which he had thus commenced, of 
forming a settlement in Texas. Stephen F. Austin? 
afterwards Colonel, now General Austin, immedi- 
ately entered upon the prosecution of the enter 
prise with vigour. After having first visited the 
capital of Texas, to make the legal arrangements, 
and having personally surveyed the country, with* 
out a guide, and at much risk, in order to select a 
favorable location, in December, 1821, he arrived 
on the river Brazos with the first emigrants, and 
the new settlement was commenced in the midst 
of an entire wilderness. Without entering into a 
detailed history of all the difficulties, privations 
and dangers that were encountered by the first 
emigrants, it is sufficient to say, that such a detail 
would present examples of inflexible perseverance 
and fortitude on the part of these settlers, which 
have been seldom equalled in any country, or in 
any enterprise. 

Of two cargoes of provisions, shipped from New 
Orleans for their subsistence, one was lost on the 
coast, the other, after having been deposited on 
shore, was destroyed by the Carancuhuas, and four 
men, left to protect it, were massacred. They 
were compelled by these disappointments, to ob- 
tain their seed-corn over land, and with much 
trouble, from Sabine or Bexar. For months, they 
were totally destitute of bread and salt. Sugar 
and coffee were luxuries, enjoyed only in remem- 

TEXAS. 285 

brance or in anticipation. Their only dependence 
for subsistence, was upon the wild game. To 
range the country for buffaloe, was dangerous on 
account of the Indians. The mustangs, or wild 
horses, fortunately were abundant and fat, and, it 
is estimated, that one hundred of them were eaten 
in the course of the two first years. 

The Carancuhua Indians were very hostile on 
the coast. The Wacos and Tawakanies were 
equally so in the interior, and committed constant 
depredations. Parties of Tankaways, Lepans,arid 
other tribes, were intermingled with the settlers. 
These Indians were beggarly and insolent, and 
were restrained from violence the first two years, 
only by presents, forbearance, and policy. There 
was not force enough in the colony to awe them. 
One imprudent step with these Indians, would 
have destroyed the settlement, and the settlers de- 
serve as much credit for their forbearance, during 
the years 1822 — 23, as for their fortitude. In 
1824, the force of the colony justified a change 
of policy, and a party of Tarankaways was, in 
that year, publicly tried and whipped, in presence 
of their chiefs, for horse stealing. 

The hardships of the wilderness, however, 
were not the only difficulties to be surmounted. 
Great embarrassment arose from another quarter, 
which produced much delay, expence, personal 
risk, and discouragement to Gen. Austin; and not 
only checked ail further accession to the colony 
for a time, but compelled some of the actual emi- 
grants to abandon their lands. 

286 TEXAS. 

In March, Gen. Austin proceeded to Bexar to 
make his report to the Governor, by whom he 
was informed, for the first time, that it would be 
necessary for him to proceed^ immediately, to the 
city of Mexico, in order to procure from the Mex- 
can Congress, then in session, a confirmation of 
the original grant to his father, Moses Austin, 
and receive special instructions as to the distribu- 
tion of land, the issuing of titles, &c. This inti- 
mation was totally unexpected, and, as may be 
well supposed, very embarrassing; for not calcula- 
ting upon any thing of the kind, he had not made 
the necessary preparations for such a journey. 
There was no time for hesitation. Hasty arrange- 
ments were made with Mr. Josiah H. Bell, to take 
charge of the infant settlement, and General 
Austin immediately departed for the city of Mex- 
ico, a journey of twelve hundred miles. 

This was an undertaking of no little hazard at 
that time. Owing to the revolutionary state of the 
country, the roads were infested with robbers, 
and the Indians, taking advantage of the times, 
committed many outrages. Gen. Austin fortunate- 
ly escaped without molestation, except that of 
being partially robbed by a party of Comanches, 
as related in a preceding chapter. From Monter- 
ey he had but one companion. They both dis- 
guised themselves in ragged clothes, with blankets, 
so as to pass for very poor men, who were going 
to Mexico to petition for compensation for servi- 
ces in the revolution. 

TEXAS. 287 

The state of political affair? in the capital, at 
this time, was vecy unsettled. In addition to em- 
barrassments likely toarise from this source, when 
Gen. Austin arrived in Mexico, he laboured under 
the disadvantage of being a foreigner, a total stran- 
ger, and ignorant of the language of the country, 
except what little knowledge he had acquired in 
his first trip to Bexar, and on his journey to the 
capital. Without entering into a minute detail of 
all the perplexities and difficulties which embarras- 
ed the business, arising out of the revolutions and 
frequent modifications of the general government, 
which took place at that period, and these w T ere 
neither few nor small, Gen. Austin, after a whole 
year's detention, at last had the satisfaction of re- 
turning to Texas, with the object of his journey 
fully accomplished. His authority to plant a col- 
ony in Texas, under which he had been acting, 
was confirmed by all the national authorities which 
under different names, had ruled the Mexican na- 
tion during the year; and, as the last confirmation 
was by the Sovereign Constituent Congress, whose 
members were the acknowledged and legal repre- 
sentatives of the people of the nation, there could 
be no shadow of doubt as to the legality and va- 
lidity of his concession. 

In August, when General Austin arrived in the 
colony, it was nearly broken up, in consequence of 
his long detention in Mexico, and emigration had 
totally ceased. Many of the first emigrants had 
returned to the United States- and a number of 

288 TEXAS. 

those who had commenced their journey for the 
colony, had stopped in the vicinity of Nacogdo- 
ches, or on the Trinity river, and thus the settle- 
ment of those sections of country began. By en- 
ergetic exertion and prudent management, how-* 
ever, the life of the expiring colony was soon revi- 
ved, and from the day of General Austin's personal 
re-appearance in the settlement till recently the 
affairs of the colony have flowed onward, with a 
silent, but rapid and uninterrupted prosperty. It 
now numbers upwards of eighty thousand inhabi- 
tants, and the influx of emigrants is greater than 
ever. These people are, as a body, of the most 
industrious and worthy character, for the greatest 
precaution has been used, from the commencement 
of the enterprise, to exclude the idle and the vicious. 
This judicious policy has been pursued throughout, 
from a conviction, that the success of the underta- 
king must depend upon the good character of the 
population. A report counter to this statement, 
has more than once found its way to the public ear, 
and been circulated in the newspapers, but it is a 
fabrication and a slander. 

Several fugitives, who found their way into the 
colony in 1823 — 4, he expelled, under the severest 
threats of corporal punishment if they returned,, 
and in one instance he inflicted it. As regards the 
general morality and hospitality of the inhabitants,, 
and the commission of crimes, the settlement, it 
is contended, will bear a favourable comparison 
with any county in the United States. 

TEXAS. 289 

When, in the progress of years, the state of 
Texas shall take her place among the powerful 
empires of the American continent, her citizens 
will doubtless regard Gen. Austin as their patriarch, 
and children will be taught to hold his name in reve- 
rence-, for though there have been many other res- 
pectable men engaged in the work of colonization, 
yet Gen. Austin began the work, and was the first 
to open the wilderness. All the subsequent labour 
of others has been comparatively easy. 

Gen. Austin has proved himself, both in point 
of talents and sound judgment, perfectly qualified 
for the arduous undertaking he took in hand. In 
the first place, we view him as the hardy and bold 
pioneer, braving all the dangers of a wilderness 
infested with hostile Indians, far out of the reach 
of civilized society, and the most common comforts 
of civilized life, enduring with the humblest labour- 
er of the little band, all the exposure and privation 
of the camp, living for months upon wild horse- 
flesh, without bread or salt. 

In the second place, we view him as the skilful 
negotiator in the capital of Mexico. His difficul- 
ties here, were of the most trying and discoura- 
ging kind, and required the greatest discretion to 
surmount; for his business was with the govern- 
ment, and that government in a constant state of 
revolution and counter-revolution. Twice was 
his business brought, as he had every reason to 
think, almost to a successful termination, when a 
change of government threw it out, and left him 

290 TEXAS. 

where he began months before, to commence anew. 
His difficulties were not a little increased by the 
number of petitions for grants of colonization 
similar to his own. Among these applications, 
was one from the late Gen. Wilkinson, formerly of 
the United States army. It argues not a little in 
favour of his own skilful management, that, of all 
these petitions, his alone was finally acceded to, 
at that time, by the Mexican authorities. 

Next, view him as the civil governerand milita- 
ry commander of the people; for he was clothed 
with very extensive civil and judicial authority in 
ail matters, and, as commander of the militia, he 
was vested with the rank of Lieut. Colonel, by 
the provincial deputation of Coahuila and Texas. 
If his power has been great, most judiciously and 
beneficently has he wielded it, as is abundantly 
proved and illustrated, by the present prosperity 
of the colony. If any one is inclined to surmise, 
that this prosperity was a matter of course, he 
should reflect, that, out of twenty grants of col- 
onization similar to his own, his, alone, can be 
said to have fully succeeded. Whoever will re- 
flect upon the proverbial jealousy of the Mexican 
people, which, for years, was indulged to such a 
degree as to exclude every foreign footstep from 
the soil of Texas, will know how to appreciate the 
prudent and sagacious management which has 
produced such pleasing results. Nor should it be 
forgotten, that, whatever has been accomplished. 



has been effected by policy and private resources 
alone, without the aid of a single soldier to repel 
hostile Indians, or a single dollar from the public 
treasury, even to pay the salaries of the necessary 
subordinate officers and clerks. 

Never for a moment has he lent himself to the 
spirit of speculation — the ruling spirit of the day. 
He had the first choice of lands in Texas. Regard- 
less of the law, he might have occupied himself, as 
others have done, in selling lands in Europe and 
the United States, and filling his pockets with gold, 
instead of settling the country with intelligent em- 
igrants. What was the fact? Behold the philan- 
thropist true to his priciples suffering with the cour- 
age of a martyr, and acting with a prudence and 
foresight worthy of so great a cause — and which 
could alone ensure success — laboring Ions: and 
cautiously inlaying a solid foundation of American 
materials in Texas, and for the extension of the 
republican principles of his native land over the 
whole of Mexico. The, foundation is laid. Those 
who build upon it and rear the superstructure of a 
free republic will perhaps receive much more ap- 
plause and enjoy a more envied fame than he upon 
whose works they are building. But nothing can 
take from General Austin the consciousness that 
he has been the chief laboror in laying that foun- 
dation, without which Texas would not now be in 
a situation to enter the great battle field in the cause 
of Liberty. It is a fact, that much of the success 
of Texas in the present struggle was owing to the 



cautions and prudent course pursued by General 
Austin at the commencement of hostilities, how- 
ever it may have been charged upon him as a fault. 
For a time he took command of the volunteers for 
the express object of exercising a restraining in- 
fluence. They consisted of the choice spirits of 
the land — rash and adventurous and ready to haz- 
ard all. He thought, justly, they were not lightly 
to be sacrificed. The plan pursued by the brave 
Milam — the Texas Leonidas — he recommended 
before quitting the army. He resigned the com- 
mand when his services were more required else- 
where. Should the present struggle terminate un- 
fortunately — were such a result possible — it might 
justly be ascribed to a departure from his prudent 
counsel. Many feared in the beginning, and he 
among the rest, that the moment had not yet 
arrived for a final separation from Mexico. No 
doubt a few years hence they would have been 
better prepared for the contest, but the course of 
the Santa Anna party Jeff, them no alternative. 
They were forced, to declare themselves Inde- 
pendant and to fight to make themselves so. 

How infinitely better than money is that gran- 
deur of character which finds its reward in the con- 
sciousness of deeds done, not for individual self, 
but for the species: which, happy in broad and 
philosophic views, looking forth from its moral ele- 
vation with pride and satisfaction, and stimulated 
by powerful results, urges on the march of lib- 
erty, justice, and freedom of conscience. Such 
is the position of General Austin. 

TEXAS. 293 

Texas once emancipated, its moral influence will 
not stop short of the Pacific. She mustbe emanci- 
pated. What can resist the moral impetus already 
given? What stop the progress of the anglo-Saxon 
race? What stifle the free principles, which the sons 
of Texas imbibed with their mother's milk in the 
land of Washington — the land of the brave and 
the free? Can it be supposed that those sturdy 
principles once firmly rooted in a vigorous foreign 
soil will not spread over the land to the extermin- 
ation of all meaner herbs? As certain as the savage 
yields to civilized man will the narrowness and 
bigotry of Mexico give place to juster views; for, 
what power is so great — what weapon so strong 
as knowledge? 

It may be supposed, that he is now sufficiently 
compensated for all his labours by a vast accumu- 
lation of wealth. But this is not so. He indeed, 
holds the title to much valuable land. Aside from 
this, he is poor; and land can hardly be considered 
wealth, where land is so abundant, and to be got 
almost for nothing. Many of the settlers, without 
any of the hardships, or exposure, or labour, which 
he has encountered, are richer than he. That 
many opportunities of promoting his private for- 
tune have presented themselves, will, of course, 
be understood. But his character is noble and 
generous, without one particle of selfishness, and 
he has yielded all considerations of a private na- 
ture, to the general welfare of the colony. He 
has had his enemies and calumniators, as it is na- 

294 TEXAS. 

tural to expect of one, who held the power, and 
was determined to exercise a wholesome authori- 
ty, in the management of affairs. His reputation, 
however, remains untarnished, and never in high- 
er estimation that at this present moment. The 
greatest charge ever brought against him was that 
of extreme prudence, and those who complained 
loudest, now acknowledge its necessity, and call it 
a virtue. Amidst all the slanderous imputations 
that have been uttered against him, he finds suffi- 
cient consolation, in the general confidence of all 
the intelligent and worthy part of the settlers, in 
the uniform approbation of the Mexican authori- 
ties till the present difficulties; and above all in 
the high consideration of the enlightened every 

The colony has received the most cordial and 
uninterrupted manifestations of liberality, confi- 
dence, and kindness, from every superior officer, 
who has governed the province of Texas, or the 
state of Coahuila and Texas, from its commence- 
ment to the late events. For its services on one 
occasion, it received, in flattering terms, the ap- 
probation of the President. These testimonials 
are too high and unimpeachable to leave any doubt, 
as to the morality, honour, and integrity, of either 
Gen. Austin himself, or of the great mass of the 
settlers. To say that there are no base men here, 
would be a violation of candour and truth; but 
these individuals meet their reward in Texas, as 
in other well regulated communities, in the frowns 
of public opinion. 

TEXAS. 295 

Gen. Austin is still a young man, not yet forty- 
five years of age, but, through the hardships of his 
life, looks much older than he really is. In his 
youth, he received a respectable academical edu- 
cation first at Colchester, in Connecticut, and af- 
terwards passed two years in Transylvania Uni- 
versity, Lexington, Kentucky, (where many of 
his early friends still testify to his interesting and 
amiable character,) but began, very early, to ac- 
quire that species of knowledge which is to be ob- 
tained only by the experience of business, and 
the intercourse of men, — a kind of knowledge 
which has qualified him to perform well his part in 
the peculiar sphere of life in which he has been 
called, by Providence, to act. Successively a 
member of the Legislature of Coahuila and Texas 
— -commissioner to the Congress of Mexico — com- 
mander-in-ch'ef of the volunteer army of Texas 
— and now we see him a commissioner to the Uni- 
ted States of the north. Long may he live to 
reap the reward of his arduous labors, and enjoy 
the fruits of his noble enterprise. 

We do injustice to the subject, and to the Aus- 
tins, by regarding them merely as the founders of 
the colony which bears their name. They have, 
in fact, been the movers, either directly or indi- 
rectly, of the whole North American and Irish 
emigration to this country, and, whatever good 
may result to the great cause of liberty, of science, 
and human happiness, by the introduction into 
this vast region, of the English language, and of 

296 TEXAS. 

those principles of republican and constitutional 
government, which always accompany that lan- 
lauge,* may be very properly attributed to them, 
— to the father for conceiving the idea of such an 
enterprise, to the son for successfully accomplish- 
ing it. Few instances occur in the history of new 
settlements, in which results so important and 
permanent have been produced by means so com- 
paratively feeble, and under circumstances so dis- 
couraging. The settlers of Austin's Colony were 
unaided by capital or support, either from the 
Mexican government or from any other quarter. 
They had no resources, whatever, to depend upon, 
except those afforded by the spirit and prudence 
of their leader, a total contempt of danger, ob- 
stacles and privations, and a firm reliance on 
their rifles, themselves, and their God. Besides 

*"It is not to be imagined that the impulse of the anglo-Saxon 
race can be arrested. Their continual progress toward* the 
Rocky Mountains has the solemnity of a providential event. 
Tyrannical government and consequent hostilities- may retasd 
this impulse, but cannot prevent it from ultimately fulfilling the 
destinies to which that race is reserved. No power on earth 
can close upon the emigrants the fertile wilderness which offers 
resources to all industry, and a refuge from all want. Future 
events, of whatever nature they may be, will not deprive the 
Texans of their climate, their bays and rivers or their exube- 
rent soil. Nor will bad laws, revolutions, and anarchy, be 
able to obliterate that love oF posterity and that spirit of enter- 
prise which seem to be the distinctive characteristic of their 
race, or to extinguish that knowledge which guides them on 
their way. 

'•Thus in the midst of the uncertain future, one event is sure. 
At a period which maybe said to be near, the anglo-Americans 
will alone cover the immense space contained between the 
Polar regions, and the Tropics extend from the Coast of the At- 
lantic to the shores of the Pacific Ocean." 

De Toquiville's America* 

TEXAS. 297 

the natural difficulties of subduing the wilderness, 
they had to contend with the deeply fixed preju- 
dices of the people in the United States, who were 
loath to remove to a country, which they had 
been taught to believe, was barren and savage, 
doomed to eternal pestilence and fevers, and, at 
least, but a refuge for fugitive criminals, pirates, 
and desperados. Other obstacles, not less appalling 
to some, arose from the revolutionary and distract- 
ed condition of the civil government of Mexico. 

Until recently, neither the Mexican government 
nor the Mexican people, knew any thing of this 
interesting country, and, whatever value it now 
possesses in their estimation, or in the opinion of 
the world, is to be attributed, entirely, to foreign 
emigrants.* They redeemed it from the wilder- 
ness, — they developed its resources, — they have 
explored it, in its length and breadth, and made 
known its geography. All has been done by 
them, without the cost of a single cent to the 
Mexicans. This consideration, certainly gave 
to those emigrants, a natural and a just claim upon 
the liberality of their government, and authorized 
them to expect a system of colonization, of revenue 
and municipal law, adapted to their local situation 
and their infant state. How far those speculations 
have been realized will be seen in the sequal. 

Instead however, of fulfilling these expectations, 

* While in prison in Mexico the little volume of "Letters on 
Texas/' written, they said, by his sister, was shown to General 
Austin (he had not before seen it) translated for the President— 
who obtained from it nearly all he knew of the country. 

298 TEXAS. 

the course of the general government has been one 
unceasing tide of oppression, rolling on its bitter 
waters in a continually augmenting volume, until 
the time has come for Texas if she would not be 
overwhelmed and lost forever, to prevent utter 
annihilation by a manly resistance to the usurper's 
power. She is aware of this and has responded 
to the call which liberty and the rights of man have 
made upon her, and has arisen in the majesty of free- 
dom to battle for her independence. 

"Mexico never can conquer Texas! The jus- 
tice and benevolence of Providence will forbid 
that that delightful and now civilized region should 
again become a howling wilderness, trod only by 
savages, or that it should again be desolated by 
the ignorance and superstition, the tyranny and 
anarchy, the rapine and violence of Mexican mis- 
rule. The anglo-Saxon American race are des- 
tined to be forever the proprietors of this land of 
promise and fulfilment. Their laws will govern it, 
their learning will enlighten it, their enterprise 
will improve it, their flocks alone will range its 
boundless pastures, for them, alone its fertile lands 
will yield their luxuriant harvests, its beauteous 
rivers will waft the products of their industry 
alone, and their latest posterity will here enjoy 
"legacies of price unspeakable,*' in the possession 
of homes protected by the genius of liberty, and 
sanctified by the spirit of a beneficent religion. 
"This is inevitable — for the wildernes of Texas 
has been redeemed by American blood and enter- 

TEXAS. 299 

prise. The colonists have carried with them the 
manners, the habits, the language, the enterprize, 
the valor, and the lofty love of liberty that has al- 
ways distinguished their ancestors. They have 
identified them indissolubly with the country. 
Yes, they have founded them on a basis of as much 
imperishability as belongs to the frailty of human 
institutions. I repeat it again and again, Mexico 
can never conquer Texas. When we were whol- 
ly unprepared for war, without experienced offi- 
cers, without disciplined soldiers, without the re- 
quisite arms or amunition, without money, organ- 
ized government, or any thing else necessary in 
such a crisis, except dauntless hearts, besides two 
other garrisons, which yieided to our arms, a Le- 
onidas band of 300, under the never to be forgot- 
ten Milam, captured the garrison of St. Antonio, 
containing 1700 regular soldiers, who were covered 
and protected by walls, ditches, houses, forts, and 
more than 20 pieces of artillery . "If such things are 
done in the green tree, what will not be done in 
the dry?" Now we have money, credit, organi- 
zed government, experienced officers, armies, am- 
munition, and 5,000 soldiers. With these, and 
cowardly Mexicans for our antagonists, we are 
truly invincible. But suppose that the enemy 
should send another army, and be, for the moment, 
successful. They will only be masters of the 
ground they occupy. We are not congregated in 
great cities, as in France or England, where the 
possession of Paris or London is the conquest of 

300 TEXAS. 

the country. Our situation resembles more the 
indomitable Scythians of old, in their mountains 
and fortresses. Our inhabitants could easily retire 
before a pursuing enemy. But if they tempo- 
rarily retired, it would only be to return with re- 
cuperated energy and redoubled numbers. Yes! 
return they would, month after month, and year 
after year, until their object was effected. 4; If 
thousands offered up their lives, there would still 
be lives to offer." Return they would ! All would 
gloriously perservere, until relieved of the misery 
of a slavish existence, or until their liberties were 
established, and their tyrannic oppressors were 
made to feel and know, from blood bought expe- 



The history of Texas, from the earliest period 
of its settlement to the present time, is replete 
with incident of the most romantic and interesting- 
character. These details, if collected and arrang- 
ed by a competent annalist, would furnish a vol- 
ume highly desirable to all, and especially to the 
American public. Such details, however, would 
not be consistent with the plan of the present 
work; which will permit us merely to bestow a 
glance at the earlier history of this country, and 
hasten to the relation of those more recent events, 
which are now producing so much excitement, 
sympathy, and admiration, in the breasts of Amer- 
ican patriots. 

The first settlement formed in this country by 
Europeans, was the Spanish town of San Antonio 
de Bexar, which was founded in 1692. La Bahia 
del Espiritu Santo was commenced in 1716, and 
Nacogdoches in 1732. Up to the time of Gen. 
Pike's visit in 1807, these continuad to be the on- 
ly towns of notice in the province; which also 
contained a few missions and military stations for 
the Mexican garrisons, intended for the protection 
of the frontiers; making, altogether, a population 


302 TEXAS. 

of seven thousand, exclusive of the roving tribes 
of aboriginees, and including civilized Indians and 
half breeds. The first acquaintance which Anglo- 
Americans, obtained with the delightful region, was 
made by those generous bands of Western Volun- 
teers, who marched through its territories, to the 
aid of the Mexican Patriots in their struggle for 

The first Mexican Revolution was commenced 
on the 10th of September, 1810, by Hidalgo, a 
Spanish priest, an enthusiast for independence, and 
possessing great influence, especially with the 
Indian population: his rise, decline and fall, are 
well known. He terminated his career at Chihua- 
hua, on the 27th of July, 1 81 1 ; being first deprived 
of his orders of priesthood, and then shot. 

This however was but the beginning of a long 
and sanguinary conflict, or series of conflicts. — 
Though Hidalgo, with his miserable rabble of sol- 
diery, had been exterminated or dispersed, the con- 
quest availed but little. In the same year, that ex- 
traordinary man, Don Jose Maria Morelos, began 
his brilliant career in arms, and drew to his stand- 
ard many of the most distinguished citizens of 
Mexico. We cannot here give even a sketch of 
his successful and astonishing career, which for five 
years attracted the admiration of the world. In 
this struggle we find the names of Guadalupe 
Victoria with his Guerilla bands, Teran, Cos, Ra- 
yon,Ossourno, and the brave Toledo, fighting under 
the banners of Morelos. On the side of the Roy- 



alists, Gen. Slano, the execrable Calleja, and the 
notorious Iturbide were conspicuous leaders. In 
the midst of his military successes Morelos, anx- 
ious to divide the responsibility of his situation, 
convened a congress of forty members, at Apat- 
zingan, in the Intendancy of Valladolid. By this 
congress, at the head of which was Don Jose 
Maria Liceaga, a constitution was framed, which 
was accepted by the provinces in the possession 
of the Patriots. The establishment of this Con- 
gress was the death-blow to independence. They 
proved traitors to their country, and moved by a 
despicable jealousy were no doubt the ultimate 
cause of the downfall and death of Morelos. He 
was taken at Tepecuacuila, in the 5th of Novem- 
ber, 1815, — sent to Mexico, and delivered over to 
the Holy Office. By that tribunal he was declared 
a heretic, degraded, and surrenderd to the milita- 
ry authority, which sentenced him to be shot in 
the back, as a traitor. This sentence was execu- 
ted on the 22d of December, at San ChristovaJ, in 
the environs of the Capital. 

While these events were transpiring in the 
southern Intendancies, an important diversion was 
made, in the year 1813, in favor of Morelos, by 
an expedition undertaken to Texas from the Uni- 
ted States, and which, but for treachery, would 
have eventually ruled the destinies of Mexico 

"The origin of this expedition was far from be- 
ing either brilliant or glorious;" says Judge Brack- 



en ridge, (from whose account we have compressed 
the following brief notice,) "but this does not di^ 
minish the interest of its history; for, though com 
menced by outlaws, it was continued by noble 
and daring spirits, from among the most respecta- 
ble citizens of the South West." 

In the latter part. of 1812, Lieut. Mngee was 
detached from Natchitoches, with a military force, 
to break up a gang of outlaws of the most daring 
and desperate character, who had stationed them- 
selves on the Sabine, for the purpose of intercept- 
ing the trading caravans, which frequently passed 
between Natchitoches and the Provinces Internas 
of New Spain. 

While engaged in his perilous enterprise, which 
was attended with complete success, he conceived 
the bold idea of the conquest of Mexico by the 
aid of the very banditti he had just subdued. They 
were easily enlisted in the enterprise; and, after 
appointing a rendezvous, Magee repaired to New 
Orleans, where he obtained some supplies, and 
engaged a number of partisans — young men of 
the most respectable character. Here he found 
also a Mexican refugee, Bernardo, by name, who 
had fled in consequence of havirg taken a part in 
the Revolution attempted by Hidalgo. Magee, 
thinking it impolitic to enter New Spain as an inva- 
der, resigned his commission in the army — planted 
his standard in Texas on the Trinity, and issued 
a proclamation in Spanish, in the name of Bernar- 
do, as the nominal general of the expedition, invi- 
ting the Mexicans to his standard. 

TEXAS. 305 

Among his officers were Kemper, Lockett. 
Perry and Ross — young men of the most daring 
spirit and enterprise. His first military move- 
ment was an attack on Nacogdoches; which he 
took with ease, and obtained some provisions and 
recruits. The news of his success spread with 
great rapidity in the South Western States, and 
in a short time, his army had been so increased by 
volunteers from these states, that he was in com- 
mand of five hundred men, three hundred of whom 
were Americans. With this force he took posses- 
sion of La Bahia, and prepared for a seige, which 
soon took place, by an army of fifteen hundred 
men under Salcedo. This seige continued through 
the greater part of the winter of 1812-13; and 
scarcely a day passed without a skirmish, in which 
the Spanish were invariably worsted. Magee 
did not live to see the retreat of the Spaniards, 
which took place in the latter part of the winter. 
After his death the command devolved upon Col. 
Kemper. A council being called, it was resolved 
to march upon San Antonio; within six miles of 
which place, they came in sight of the Spanish 
army under Salcedo, which had been reinforced 
and now consisted of twelve hundred men, with 
six pieces of artillery planted on the road, near the 
centre of the whole. 

A select corps of riflemen under Lockett, rushed 

forward—shot down the artillerists — and seized 

the cannon, while Kemper on the right, and Ross 

on the left, soon put the two wings of the Spanish 


306 TEXAS. 

army to flight. The American loss was small — 
that of the enemy very great. The Spanish officers 
surrendered at discretion, and the town containing 
about three thousand inhabitants, was taken pos- 
session of without opposition. General Bernardo, 
who had acted the part of Sancho Panza during the 
battle, now became an important personage, and 
was the cause of the subsequent misfortunes of 
the Americans. Magee being dead, and Bernardo 
invested with a nominal authority, the Generalise 
simo must of course exercise some power; and he 
accordingly did, in the commission of an act of the 
most atrocious character. The Spanish officers to 
the number of seventeen, were inhumanly butch- 
ered by the orders of this monster. The Ameri- 
can leaders, who had given them every assurance 
of safety, were struck with horror at this act; and 
Kemper, Luckett, and Ross, with a number of oth- 
er adventurers, returned immediately to the Uni- 
ted States. Their places however were more 
than supplied by others, who had caught the spirit 
of wild adventure which had first given birth to 
the expedition. The command was entrusted to 
Col. Perry, and the Mexicans, about 700 strong, 
w r ere formed into a distinct corps under Mancha- 
co, a bold, but rude and uneducated native of the 
neighborhood. In the meantime Vanega, viceroy 
of Mexico, had despatched against them General 
Etisondo, with a well appointed army of fifteen 
hundred men, besides a number of the irregular 
troops of the country. When advanced within a 

TEXAS. 307 

few miles of San Antonio, this force was attacked 
at day break, while at matins according to their 
custom, by the combined forces of Americans, In- 
dians and native Mexicans, under Perry, and were 
entirely routed, with a loss of four hundred killed 
and wounded, and the rest completely dispersed; 
Elisondo himself making his escape with a handful 
of men. 

By this splendid victory the numbers and res- 
pectability of the adventurers were greatly in- 
creased, and the Spanish authorities excited to 
more active exertions against a foe, which began 
to assume so formidable an aspect. Gen. Arredon- 
do marched at the head of two thousand of the 
best troops in the viceroyalty. About this 
time another personage appeared on the stage, 
among the Americans and Mexicans. This was 
Gen. Toledo. He was a native of Cuba, whence 
he had fled on account of his revolutionary feeling— 
of a distinguished Spanish family — of an interest- 
ing and soldierly presence — and was invited to the 
command, much to the satisfaction of the Ameri- 
cans, but not without jealousy on the part of Man- 
chaco and his Mexicans, the consequences of which 
were soon experienced. 

The hostile forces soon met, and prepared for 
battle. Contrary to the orders of Gen. Toledo, 
Manchaco left the position in which they were en- 
camped, and rashly threw himself forward upon 
the advanced guard of the Spaniards, and pursued 
it in its retreat, until he was decoyed into an am- 

308 TEXAS. 

bush. Toledo was compelled to follow. Man- 
ehaco and his force however would neither receive 
nor bestow succor. Sauve qui peut was the order 
of the day, and they ingloriously fled, leaving the 
contest to be maintained by about four hundred 
Americans, and two hundred Indians, who nobly 
sustained the unequal conflict and handled the en- 
emy so severely that, when obliged to retreat for 
want of ammunition, they left Arredondo well sat- 
isfied to keep the field, without following up his 
dear-bought victory. Indeed, had not Manchaco 
added treachery to cowardice, and gone over to 
the Spaniards with information which served to re- 
new their exertions, they would have given way 
and yielded the victory to the American army. It 
is supposed that the Spanish loss exceeded six hun- 
dred men; that of the Americans was about one 
hundred: no prisoners taken. 

The adventurers immediately made preparations 
for a return to their country, as this disastrous bat- 
tle had destroyed their last hope of success. A 
part of them were however overtaken by the ene- 
my, at the Trinity, and carried prisoners to the in- 
terior of New Spain. Had this battle been delay- 
ed, according to the wishes of Gen. Toledo, or had 
not Manchaco turned traitor, it is highly probable 
that, the war commenced on the frontier of Texas, 
would have ended in the city of Mexico, for the San 
Antonio road at this time was literally crowded by 
adventurers, coming to join the fortunes of their 
gallant countrymen, and reap the golden harvest 

TEXAS. 309 

which they fondly anticipated as the result of the 
struggle. As it was, however, it effectually put 
an end to the expedition, and to the war in the 
province of Texas, fov that time. 

This nest of outlaws and pirates continued to 
maintain their power by land and sea, until they 
had excited — not only the vengeance of the Span- 
ish authorities, but the execration of all honest men. 

Hitherto we have had occasion, as Historians 
of Texas, to speak only of adventurers and in- 
vaders upon her territory. And this grew out of 
necessity. For, exclusive of the Spanish garrisons 
established in Bexar, Nacogdoches, and a few 
other military stations, the population of the Pro- 
vince amounted only to a few hundred foreigners, 
of almost every "nation, kindred, tongue and peo- 
ple." Henceforward, however, the case will be 
altered somewhat; and, although the stirring events, 
which for years afterwards continued to transpire 
in this country, were connected with the same 
class of adventurers, another and more valuable 
class were laying the foundation for the future 
greatness of a republic of laws, and constitutional 
liberty. The history of this class, the colonists 
of Austin, has been chronicled in a former chapter; 
to which we refer the reader who would become 
acquainted with the details of their history. 

In December, 1 820, Moses Austin, who had long 
entertained the idea of forming a settlement of 
North Americans in Texas, arrived at Bexar, in 
the prosecution of his object. After some diffi* 

310 TEXAS. 

culties, originating in the cautious regulations of 
the Spanish authorities in regard to foreigners, he 
obtained an interview with the Governor of the 
province through the mediation of Baron de Bas- 
trop, and a memorial, strongly recommended by 
the local authorities of the country, was transmit- 
ted to the superior government of the Eastern In- 
ternal Provinces, asking permission for Austin to 
settle three hundred families in Texas. 

On the 17th of January, 1821, this petition was 
granted; and in conformity with the orders of the 
Commandant General, Don Joaquin de Arredondo, 
a special commissioner, Don Erasmo Seguin, was 
despatched to the United States to inform Austin 
of the result of his application. A few days after 
the reception of the news, however, Austin, worn 
out with 1 1 is constant fatigues, died in Missouri, 
leaving his request for his son, S. F. Austin, to pros- 
ecute the enterprise. In July, 1821, the younger 
Austin accordingly entered Texas with seventeen 
companions, where, after settling terms of coloni- 
zation and exploring the country, he returned in 
the fall to New Orleans. In December of the 
same year, Austin arrived on the river Brazos 
with the fust emigrants, and the new settlement 
was commenced in the midst of an entire wilder- 

This year was equally distinguished by the 
events which transpired in Mexico. Don Augus- 
tine Iturbide, a royal officer, having been entrust- 
ed with a large sum of money, amounting to half 

TEXAS. 311 

a million of dollars, revolted from the Spanish 
government — published the plan of Iquala — united 
with the patriot generals Guerro and Victoria, and 
finally, compromised with Gen. O. Donoju at Cor- 
dova, on 24th of August. 

A junta and regency were established, at the 
head of which was placed Iturbide. He was at the 
same time appointed admiral and generalissimo of 
the navy and army, and assigned an annual salary 
of 120,000 dollars. Thus Mexico became an in- 
dependent nation. 

On the 24th of February, 1822, the National 
Congress of Mexico convened in the capital. — 
They adhered to the plan of Iquala, and the Span- 
ish constitution was provisionally adopted. The 
executive department was administered by an 
agency, of which the generalissimo Don Augustine 
Iturbide was President. The efforts of the ambi- 
tious general were directed to sowing dissention 
in Congress, and subverting the civil to Hhe milita- 
ry authority, in which he soon succeeded. Every 
thing being thus prepared for his purpose, on the 18th 
of May, the soldiery and populace took it upon 
themselves to decide the destiny of Mexico, in 
proclaiming Iturbide emperor. The session oi 
congress on the 19th was held surrounded by bay- 
onets. When one of them demurred to the elec- 
tion of an emperor at that time, the surrounding 
mob of soldiers and citizens furiously shouted out 
"that they w 7 ould cut the throats of the deputies if 
Iturbide were not elected and proclaimed before 

312 TEXAS. 

one o'clock, that day." Thus intimidated, the 
congress complied with the demands of the rabble, 
and Iturbide was declared the emperor of Mexico, 
under the title of Augustine I. 

The new emperor and the congress, as might 
have been expected, did not long agree; and after 
continual altercations between them, the congress 
proving too patriotic and unwilling to submit to 
the demands of the tyrant, a general officer was 
sent to dissolve the assembly, on the 30th of Oc- 
tober, with orders to expel the members by force, 
if they continued above ten minutes longer in ses- 
sion, which was accordingly done. A junto of 
forty-five members was appointed by the emperor, 
who convened on the 2d of November, when the 
session was opened by his majesty in person. 

Iturbide did not long enjoy his power in tran- 
quillity. An insurrection broke out in the Northern 
provinces in October, which was soon quelled; but 
only to give place to another more formidable. 
Santa Anna, who had been an active and enter- 
prising officer and an adherent to Iturbide, was 
harshly treated and dismissed from his command 
at Vera Cruz by the emperor in November. Be- 
fore the news of his discharge, however, reached 
them, he hastened to the garrison, and assembling 
his soldiers, harangued them upon the odious char- 
acter of the government, and the tyranny espe- 
cially of Iturbide. The standard of the republic 
was immediately unfurled, and Guadalupe Victoria, 
who had been imprisoned by Iturbide and escaped, 

TEXAS. 313 

left his hiding place in the mountains and joined 
Santa Anna. He was by the voice of the troops 
and the people hailed with joy, and immediately de- 
clared commander-in-chief. 

In the meantime there had been continual arri- 
vals of adventurers in Texas from the United 
States; so that as fast as one body had pushed 
their fortunes, in the many ways which the troubles 
of the times afforded— becoming incorporated in 
the Mexican army, or returning home enriched 
with spoil — another would supply its place. In this 
year also the notorious Gen. Long, whom we have 
before noticed as President of the Supreme Coun- 
cil of Texas, terminated his career. At the head 
of about sixty desperadoes he had marched upon 
La Bahia, which he took without opposition, and 
located his men at that place. He was soon after- 
wards taken by a party of one hundred and eighty 
men, sent from San Antonio, and with his party 
carried to Saltillo for trial. They were afterwards 
taken into the Mexican service. Gen. Long was 
subsequently shot by a soldier, as he was enter- 
ing a public office to settle some claims upon gov- 
ernment. Whether the act was of public or pri- 
vate instigation is not known. 

On the 4th of January, 1823, a national coloni- 
zation law, passed by the Mexican congress and 
approved by the Emperor, was promulgated; and 
on the 18th of February, a decree was issued, 
authorising Austin to proceed with his settlement 
in Texas. To obtain these acts Austin had been 

314 TEXAS. 

spending nearly a year at the capital: and, being 
now satisfied, was about to return, when the news 
of the revolution under Victoria reached him, 
which made him resolve to stay, convinced ihat 
another great political change was near at hand. 
The sequel proved how correct was this supposi- 

Victoria, whom we left in the field commander- 
in-chief of the republican forces, was soon joined 
by large bodies of patriots, and the insurrection 
spread throughout the province. On the 1st of 
February the army of imperialists under Echava- 
ni, at Xalapa, joined Victoria, and was the signal 
of revolt in all the other provinces. Generals Guer- 
rero and Bravo, whose names were justly dear to 
the Mexican patriots, also re-appear upon the stage 
in the West. So general was the revolt, that 
Iturbide deemed it prudent to submit without ven- 
turing to take the field. He accordingly on the 1 9th 
of March, addressed a letter to congress tender- 
ing his abdication, and retired to Tulancingo. His 
abdication was not admitted, as that would sup- 
pose a right to have existed which he had renoun- 
ced. He was allowed a yearly income of 25,000 
dollars, and, with his family and suite, consisting 
of twenty five persons, was escorted by General 
Bravo to Antigua, where, on the 1 1th of May, he 
embarked on board an English ship for Leghorn. 

On the 27th of March, the republican army 
entered the capital. The old congress was imme- 
diately convoked; a provisional government estab- 

TEXAS. 315 

iished, and an executive composed of three mem- 
bers appointed. Generals Bravo, Victoria and 
Negrete, formed the first executive.*" 

During this interesting period, Gen. Austin still 
remained at the capital in order to obtain a con- 
firmation of the imperial decree in his favor, by the 
new government. This was finally obtained; the 
executive council, by order of congress, confirm- 
ing in full the imperial concession, by a decree is- 
sued the 18th of February, with a certified copy 
of which he immediately returned to Texas. 

After the departure of the cidevant emperor, 
his partisans attempted to excite some disturbances, 
but they were too weak, and possessed too little 
influence, to endanger public tranquillity. The 
only remaining source of dissension, and one 
which caused a great deal of commotion, was the 
form of government about to be established. 
Some apprehension prevailed that congress in- 
tended to establish a central government ; on ac- 
count of which, the excitement was so great in 
several districts, as to occasion civil commotion 
and even revolt. These fears, however, were 
soon dissipated, by the project of a constitution, 

•Santa Anna, disappointed probably at not being; elected by 
the congress as one of the executive, m;ide an attempt in the 
month of March lo seize the supreme power. He sailed from 
Vera Cruz with six hundred men — landed at Tampico— and, 
Advancing through the country, took nphiahead quar ters at 
San Fan's Putosi. Here he proclaimed himself Protector of the 
Federal Republic. He failed however to inspire the confidence 
of the people, and was compelled to surrender to the force 
fen.t against him by the government of Mexico. 

316 TEXAS. 

presented to the constituent congress the 20th of 
November, of a purely federative character. 

On the 2d of February, 1824, the project of a 
federal constitution, which was proposed the No- 
vember preceding, being adopted with a very little 
alteration, was sworn to in the capitol, amidst the 
rejoicings and acclamations of the people. 

Several insurrections occurred during the year 
1 824, under Echavani and Hernandez, both of which 
were soon quelled by Gen. Guerrero; and a more 
formidable one under Sobato, who wished to com- 
pel Congress to dismiss all Europeans from office.. 
The insurrection was put down, and the cause of 
complaint removed* 

The tranquillity of the country was again dis- 
turbed by the return of the ex-emperor Iturbide, in 
the month of July, in despite of a decree of con- 
gress dated April 28, which declared him a traitor, 
and pronounced him out of the protection of the 
law, if he again set foot on the territory of the 
confederacy. He was taken at Paraje de los Ar- 
royos, about six leagues from Sota la Manva — 
sent to Padilla to the State Congress — and, by 
their order, was shot on the 19th of July. The 
Congress, actuated hy feelings which do them hon- 
or, voted an annual pension of eight thousand 
dollars to his widow, who is now residing in the 
United States. 

On the 13th of July, Gaudalupe Victorio, pres- 
ident, issued a decree abolishing forever in the 
Mexican territory the trade and traffic in slaves* 

TEXAS. 317 

In 1825, the Independence of Mexico was ac- 
knowledged by Great Britain, as it had been in 
1822 by the United States. Titles of nobility 
were abolished, and the power of the priests sig- 
nally diminished. The last vestiges of Spanish 
dominion in Mexico were effaced, by the surren- 
der of the garrison at Vera Cruz, and the ship 
Asia and another vessel in the Mexican waters. 
During this year several grants of land in Texas 
were conceded, in addition to those already made; 
and a state colonization law was passed on the 
2 1th of March, by the congress at Saltillo. 

1826. Considerable excitement prevailed on 
the subject of suppressing the Masonic Societies, 
in obedience to a bull fulminated against them by 
the reigning pope. A bill to this effect was intro- 
duced into congress; but was rejected. Indeed, 
in a short time, all the men of influence in the 
country were arranged upon the side of one or the 
other of the political factions, which were said to 
be under the guidance of the rival Scotch and 
English lodges. The Escoceses, or Scotch, 
constituted a society of Scotch origin, composed 
of large proprietors and persons of distinction; 
they were mostly men of moderate principles, 
but decidedly favorable to the cause of inde- 
pendence. Many of them have been in favor 
of a constitutional king of Mexico, chosen from the 
Bourbon family. The Yorkinos lodge derived its 
origin from a New York Masonic Society, through 
the agency of Mr. Poinsett, American Minister at 

318 TEXAS. 

Mexico. They were opposed to central or royal 
government — to the Bourbon family— and were 
in favor of the entire expulsion of the Spaniards 
from Mexico. 

In 1827, an attempt was made by a body of 
adventurers and speculators, to erect Texas 
into a Republic, under the name of Fredonia; 
the revolutionists relying greatly upon the co- 
operation of a number of Indian tribes, with whom 
treaties had been made. The principal objection 
of the Fredonians to the Mexican government 
was, that it prohibited slavery within its territory. 
The new government was however soon dissolved, 
and the Fredonians killed or dispersed, by troops 
from San Antonio. Austin's colonists were not 
engaged in this mad business. 

Towards the close of 1827, the storm which 
had been so long gathering burst forth at Olumba, 
where Col. Don Jose Montano published his plan 
for the forcible reform of the government, in order 
to counteract the growing influence of the York" 

In January, 1828, General Bravo, the leader of 
the Escoces, and then Vice President of the Re- 
public, left Mexico, and uniting with the rebels, 
stationed himself at Tulancingo, where he issued 
a manifesto in favor of M ontano. General Vicente 
Guerrero took the field in behalf of the govern- 
ment, and soon succeeded in suppressing the insur- 
rection. Bravo and his associates were banished 
from the republic. The two parties were a second 
time arrayed against each other, on accasion of 

TEXAS. 319 

the choice of a president, which took place in 
September, to succeed Victoria, whose time expir- 
ed this year. The result of the election, after an 
arduous contest, was the triumph of the Escoces 
faction, whose candidate, Manuel Gomez Pedraza, 
was chosen, by a majority of two votes over Vi- 
cente Guerrero, the candidate of the Yoriunos. 
General Santa Anna, at the head of a body of 
troops, declared that this vote was not a fair ex- 
pression of the will of the people, and proclaimed 
Guerrero president. He faiied in this movement: 
but in a short time again took the field, assisted by 
Zavala and Sobato; and, finally, Guerrero himself 
appeared in open arms against his successful rival. 
On the first six days of December, civil war raged 
in all its horrors in the city of Mexico, between 
the two rivals; the result of which was, after much 
bloodshed, the flight of Pedraza, who shortly after 
surrendered his claims, and for a while left the 

In the meantime the affairs of Texas had been 
going on prosperously, Emigration was rapidly 
settling her territory; and tranquillity everywhere 
prevailed. Soldiers were stationed at the frontier 
garrisons, and a good un erstanding was main- 
tained with the different Indian tribes. Large 
grants of land were conceded to Empresarios , 
and every facility to settlement was offered. Aus> 
tin's colony in 1827, about seven years from its 
commencement, was computed to number a popu- 
lation of ne.°r fifteen thousand souls. 

320 TEXAS. 

Pedraza having retired from the contest, and 
there being now no longer any opposition to his 
rival, Vicente Guerrero was elected president, on 
the 6th of January, 1 829, by congress declaring 
some of the votes of the states illegal; and in the 
following April was inaugurated into his office. 
Anastasio Bustamente was also elected vice presi- 
dent, and Don Lopez de Santa Anna became Sec- 
retary of War. 

On the 27th of July of this year, an expedition 
consisting of four thousand men under Barradas, 
fitted out at Havana to undertake the conquest 
of the Mexican Republic, landed near Tampico. 
and directly took up a position at Tamaulipas. — 
After a contest of two months, the invading army 
surrendered to Santa Anna on the 10th of Septem- 
ber. But no sooner was the danger of a foreign 
invasion passed, than intestine dissensions were 
renewed. Guerrero to meet the exigencies of 
the times, had been invested with the office of Dic- 
tator; an unwillingness to relinquish which became 
the pretext of another revolution. Bustamente, 
the vice president, placed himself at the head of a 
body of troops in December, and issued a procla- 
mation denouncing the abuses of the executive — 
proceeded towards the capital and was joined by 
the forces there. Guerrero was thus compelled 
to abdicate the presidency, and Bustamente was 
immediately elected his successor, by the army. 

1 830 was an important year to Texas, and con- 
tributed by its events, perhaps, more than was done 

TEXAS. 321 

by those of any other period, to prepare this coun- 
try for taking the stand which she now occupies. 

On the 6th of April, a law was passed opening 
the door of emigration to all nations, except North 
Americans, the country which, of all others, de- 
manded of her the warmest gratitude for many 
favors. Simultaneously with this act Texas, in 
every part, was deluged with garrisons, in the midst 
of profound peace, in the presence of whom the 
civil arm was paralysed, and the whole country 
groaned under the oppression and outrages com- 
mitted by a licentious military. 

In September, the members of her legislature 
were expelled by force, without trial, and compell- 
ed to flee for their lives. Texan citizens were im- 
prisoned without cause, and detained without trial; 
and their rights and privileges, in every respect, 
were trampled upon. 

Disturbances also again broke out in Mexico — 
that land of revolutions. In the latter part of this 
year Guerrero, the quondvm president, established 
a form of government in opposition to that of Bus- 
tamente, at Valladolid; and, in a short time, the 
w 7 hole country was arrayed in arms, on one side or 
the other. 

In February, 1831, Guerrero was made prison- 
er by Bustamente's troops; and being condemned 
to death for bearing arms against the established 
government, was shot as a traitor. After this 
event, tranquillity and public confidence were re- 
stored for a while, and the country began to assume 
a more prosperous appearance. 



While these events were transpiring in Mexico, 
Texas still continued to suffer under the misrule 
of military tyranny. The persons and property 
of her citizens were wantonly violated; and 
martial law superseded all civil authority. This 
was peculiarly the case in the Eastern grants. 

By the order of the commandant general, Don 
Manuel de Miersy Teran, Col. Juan Davis Brad- 
burn, military commandant at Anahuac, arrested 
Don Francisco Madero in the exercise of his com- 
mission, from the governor of Coahuiia and Texas, 
authorizing him to put the inhabitants on Trinity 
river, in possession of their lands. He and his 
surveyor Jose Maria Carbajal were carried to the 
Mexican garrison town of Anahuac, and there im- 

The Ayuntamiento established at Liberty by 
Madero, and acknowledged by the state, was de- 
stroyed by the military.; and another established 
by Col. Bradburn at Anahuac, without any author- 
ity from the state government, and even without 
consulting it. This military council then usurped 
Ayuntamiento authority, and even distributed 
lots to the inhabitants, contrary to all law, but that 
of the strong arm. 

1832. The colonists, who had been so long pa- 
tiently waiting for the redress of their multiplied 
injuries, inflicted upon them by a lawless military, 
became convinced that their own act alone could 
relieve them. They accordingly made a manly ef- 
fort to relieve themselves of their immediate op- 

TEXAS. 323 

pressors, and succeeded. In the accomplishment 
of their patriotic resolve, they proceeded in a very 
determined, but most orderly manner. There was 
not the least insurrectionary spirit manifested by 
them, or any wish to oppose the laws of the coun- 
try. We have before stated the conduct of 
Col. Bradburn in destroying the ayuntamiento at 
Liberty, destributing lands under the authority of 
a military tribunal established by him at Anahuac, 
resisting by force the election of Alcalde &c. at 
Liberty, as ordered by the state government, and 
the imprisonment of the commissioners and other 
citizens. For the redress of these evils and the re- 
lease of the prisoners illegally confined at Ana- 
huac, a large number of citizens in June of this year 
took arms and marched to that post. While en- 
camped at Turtle Bayou near Anahuac on the 13th 
of June, having been informed that on the 2d Jan- 
uary previous the city of Vera Cruz headed by 
Santa Anna had pronounced in favor of the consti- 
tution and laws, and convinced that the last hope 
of liberty, and the principles of the representa- 
tive democratic federal system depended upon the 
success of the liberal party, they unanimously re- 
solved to adhere to the plan of Vera Cruz, and call- 
ed upon the citizens of Texas to co-operate with 
them in the support of these principles. The cit- 
izens of Austin's colony generally espoused the 
cause of liberals and were not slow to manifest 
their adherence to it. 

They had suffered much under the oppressive 
administration of Bustamente, and hailed with 

324 TEXAS. 

joy the successes of the revolution in favor of lib- 
eral principles, which was at this time progressing 
under Santa Anna and Pedrazu. A company was 
formed, who, under the name of that then distin- 
guished patriot, Santa Anna, resolved to strike for 
their liberty and the support of the constitution. 
After the conquest of the garrison at Velasco, com- 
manded by Ugartechea, which fell into the hands 
of the colonists on the 26th of June, they went to 
Anahuac to assist in the attack upon that garrison, 
which soon capitulated to the besiegers. 

On their proceedings being known at Nacogdo- 
ches, the people of that district determined imme- 
diately upon a hearty co-operation with the Vera 
Cruzian party. Col. Piedras, the commandant of 
the garrison at Nacogdoches, had been invited by 
Col. Mexia (who had by this time arrived in Tex- 
as to make inquiries into the nature of the contest, 
and to induce the garrisons to declare for Santa 
Anna,) to join the liberals, and refused to do so. Be- 
ing disappointed also in his desire to render assis- 
tance to Col. Bradburn at Anahuac, he remained 
fortified in his position at Nacogdoches. The cit- 
izens of the district resolved to dislodge him. 
Having secured the neutrality of the Cherokee 
and Shawnee Indians, at that time in the neighbor- 
hood, and who, they feared, would co-uperate with 
the Mexicans, they comim need the attack. The 
contest was long and severe, the forces being near- 
ly equal, about three hundred on each side — yet af- 
ter a day's hard fighting, there were only three 



Americans killed and seven wounded; and of the 
Mexicans eighteen killed and twenty-two wound- 
ed. During the night the Mexicans evacuated the 
garrison and fled. They were pursued and soon 
overtaken, and surrendered, the next day, with- 
out a struggle. 

By this time news had arrived that their ancient 
and stedfast enemy, the commandant General Te- 
ran and his troops, had been surrounded by Gen. 
Montezuma, and cut to pieces. Teran fell on his 
own sword. The Mexicans in Texas, had also de- 
clared for the Vera Cruzian plan ; having indeed 
no choice left. The volunteers returned to their 
homes, and the war was ended. 

This was a year of suffering for Texas ; for no 
sooner had they been relieved from the contest 
with the Mexicans, than they were still more 
alarmed by the ravages of the Indians, who were 
making continual depredations upon the frontiers. 
Their fears were not without foundation; for the 
powerful bodies of Indians in their vicinity were 
truly formidable, and especially since, to oppose 
them, they must rely solely on their own strength. 
For at this time, there were not more than seventy 
Mexican soldiers in Texas, who were sustained 
by the citizens of Bexar — the general government, 
on account of its own difficulties, being unable or 
unwilling to afford either funds or troops for their 

Pestilence also combined with their other diffi- 
culties, to heighten the horrors which assailed the 

326 TEXAS. 

settlers in 1832. The cholera raged to a very 
considerable extent through the country, and 
many of the most respectable citizens, and fre- 
quently whole families, fell victims to this fearful 

In December, a suspension of hostilities between 
the contending armies of Mexico, until the ensuing 
March, was agreed upon by the leaders, Generals 
Santa Anna and Bustamente. 

1833. At a general convention of Texas, held 
at San Felipe, a petition was prepared to be sub- 
mitted, together with the plan of a state govern- 
ment, to the general congress, praying for the 
separation of Texas from Coahuiia. 

This petition represented — That Coahuiia and 
Texas were totally dissimilar in soil, climate, and 

That the representatives of the former were so 
much more numerous than the latter, that all legis- 
lation for the benefit of Texas, could be only the 
effect of a generous courtesy. 

That laws happily adapted to the one would, on 
account of the great dissimilarity in their interests, 
be ruinous to the other. 

That Texas is in continual danger from the ag- 
gression of Indian tribes, without any efficient 
government to protect her in such cases. 

That the present legislation has been calculated 
to exasperate the Indian tribes, by withholding 
their rights; whereas, by doing them justice, valu- 
able auxiliaries might be gained, instead of deadly 
enemies; which would be the policy of Texas. 



That Texas possessed the necessary elements 
for a state government, and that for her attachment 
to the federal constitution and to the republic the 
petitioners pledged their lives and honor. 

For the above reasons, among others, the peti- 
tioners prayed that Texas might be erected into 
a separate state of the Mexican confederacy, in 
obedience to the decree of the 7th of May, 1824; 
which declares, that Texas shall be provisionally 
annexed to Coahuila, until its population and re- 
sources are sufficient to forma separate state; when 
the connexion shall be dissolved. In the spring of 
this year Gen. Austin, having been selected as their 
commissioner to present this petition to the gener- 
al congress, departed for the city of Mexico. He 
discharged his duty; presented the petition, and 
urged the policy and necessity of the measure in 
the strongest but most respectful manner. After 
waiting for some months, in which nothing effect- 
ual was done — congress being in confusion and 
a revolution raging in many parts of the nation- 
he despaired of obtaining even a hearing. In Oc- 
tober matters being in this condition, he wrote to 
the Ayuntamiento of Bexar, recommending the 
people of Texas to organize as a state de facto, 
without delaying any longer for a decision from 
congress. This letter found its way from Antonio 
de Bexar to the government, and Austin was ar- 
rested in his return to Texas at Saltilllo, two hun- 
dred leagues from Mexico, on a charge of treason. 

328 TEXAS. 

He was detained here nineteen months; one year 
and three months in solitary confinement, in the 
dungeons of the Ocordado, the former Inquisition 

In 1834, Don Lopez de Santa Anna, who had 
hitherto been the leader of the republicans, became 
the champion of the aristocratic and church party, 
and succeeded in putting down the cause to which 
he had formerly been attached. On the 13th of 
May, he dissolved by force the Mexican congress, 
before its constitutional term had expired, and is- 
sued a military order for the convention of another. 
The council of government was also dissolved at 
the same time, and hence, the reins of government 
were placed completely in his own hands. 

In the meantime, the legislature of Coahuila and 
Texas was in the greatest confusion. The collis- 
ion of the president and national congress, had di- 
vided them into two separate factions. The one 
atMonclova issued a pronunciamento, denouncing 
Santa Anna and his unlawful measures, and sus- 
tained Vidaurri as governor of the state. The 
other party, also, issued its pronunciamento against 
the congress, threw itself under the protection of the 
army, and elected a military officer governor, the 
majority of votes in the election being given by offi- 
cers in the army. They established themselves 
at Saltillo, and disannuled the decrees passed by 
the constitutional state congress. In this state of 
anarchy the two factions continued denouncing 
each other, and neither able to gain the confidence 



of the people, until the time designated by the con- 
stitution for the election of governor and other 
officers had unfortunately expired, and the state 
was left in the most disgraceful state of anarchy. 

To remedy this state of confusion, the inhabitants 
of Bexar met on the 13th of October, and resol- 
ved, that a state convention be held at Bexar on 
November 15th, to organize a provisional govern- 
ment. This was proposed by Don Erasmo Sequin, 
the chief of the Department, and a copy of the 
resolutions transmitted to the other departments. 
The deputies at Monclova also recommended the 
plan, but it failed. 

1835. The new congress of Mexico convened 
on the first of January — Santa Anna acting presi- 
dent of the republic. Pronunciamentos, petitions, 
and protests were sent in by the military and 
priests, in favor of centralism; and others from the 
people and some of the state legislatures, in behalf 
of the federal system and constitution. The last 
were totally disregarded, and their authors perse- 
cuted and imprisoned. The former were received 
as the voice of the nation, and a corrupt and aris- 
tocratic congress acted accordingly. The con- 
stitutional vice president, Gomez Farias, was de- 
posed without impeachment or form of trial, and 
Gen. Barragan elected in his place. 

In the meantime the difficulties in the state of 
Coahuila and Texas had been in appearance quell- 
ed. A new legislature had been elected, and on 
the first of March was in session at Monclova. 

330 TEXAS. 

Augustin Viesca having been duly elected gover- 
nor entered upon the duties of the gubernatorial 
office. A decree passed for the sale of four hun- 
dred leagues of land, which were immediately 
purchased as it was said by speculators who were 
expecting the act, caused much dissatisfaction, and 
no doubt had an important bearing upon the events 
which followed. 

In April, Alvarez, Governor of Zacatecas raised 
the standard of rebellion against the acts of the 
Mexican congress, who under the influence of San- 
ta Anna and the ecclesiastics were issuing their 
decrees subversive of the federal government, and 
gradually preparing for a despotism. 

In May, the hopes of the federal party were al- 
most prostrated by the decisive victory gained by 
Santa Anna over the troops commanded by Alva- 
rez in Zacatecas. Gutirez and Victoria w ? ere 
also in the field against the Dictator, but invariable 
success appeared to attend his march and all op- 
position was crushed except in a state which had 
hitherto been regarded as an insignificant integrant 
of the Republic. This state was Texas. 

The difficulties of the state legislature of Coa- 
huila and Texas continued to increase. The Sal- 
tillo party had taken a decided stand against the 
authority of the constitutional congress at Mon- 
ciova,and in their revolutionary measures had been 
openly and powerfully assisted by the command- 
ant General Cos and his troops. Viesca, the gov- 
ernor elect, saw the storm gathering, and in order 

TEXAS. 331 

to sustain himself, had in the month previous made 
a call upon each of the departments of Texas for 
a force of one hundred men to march immediately 
to his assistance. But the governor and legislature 
had both become very unpopular by their recent 
acts, especially by the decree authorising the sale 
of four hundred acres of the public domain, and 
this call for assistance was disregarded. During 
this month, while things were in this posture, Gen. 
Cos issued an address stating that the congress at 
Monclova had rendered themselves worthy of and 
would soon meet with merited chastisement, unless 
they changed their course. He complained that 
they had disposed of the public domain, that they 
had opposed the government troops in attempting 
to occupy the barracks at Monclova, that they had 
secreted in Monclova the late vice president Go- 
mez Farias who was passing to embark in exile 
from the republic, that they had passed a law for 
giving permanency to the local militia, and finally 
that they had resolved to assemble a body of civil 
militia in Monclova to take the field under the pre- 
text of subjugating the department of Saltillo who 
had revolted against their authority. For these 
and other similar '•criminal acts,'' the commandant 
general, unless a speedy resentence and reformation 
should be manifested, would proceed to put down 
by military force these revolutionists. This threat 
was soon executed. A licentious military invaded 
the sanctity of civil authority; the legislature was 
dispersed and Viesca compelled to flee. The 

332 TEXAS. 

governor had obtained permission of the legislature 
to establish his government in some place of secu- 
rity, and selecting Texas as that place, immediately 
started with the public documents, to avail himself 
of this privilege so generously granted him by the 

June 4. Viesca, attempting to reach Texas, ac- 
companied by his suite, and bearing the state ar- 
chives with him, was arrested and imprisoned by 
the orders of the commandant general. This ar- 
rest caused great excitement and indignation in 
Texas, where Viesca had been much esteemed. His 
rescue was resolved upon publicly and Rancon 
Musquiz was invited to take the gubernatorial 
chair, pro tempore. Had not such a movement 
been made by the people, and that simulteneously 
throughout Texas, it is probable that the noble 
Viesca would be still the tenant of a dungeon, if 
not of a tomb. 

In this month was published the plan of Toluca r 
by which the government of Mexico was to be 
changed from the system of federal republics to a 
central consolidated government, over which Santa 
Anna is recognised as the head or supreme chief 
of the nation. Lerma Campeachy and other states 
and Ayuntamientos adopted the plan and sent pe- 
titions to the general congress of the nation recom- 
mending the proposed change to take place with- 
out delay. 

Great excitement prevailed in Texas in regard to 
the exactions of the custom house officers. This 

TEXAS. 333 

excitement reached its acme in the department of 
Nacogdoches, where the people, irritated by the 
conduct of the collectors, who had manifested but 
little regard for their comfort or accommodation, 
not only protested against their acts as illegal and 
impolitic, but laid violent hands on the collector and 
disarmed the military at Anahuac, compelling the 
garrison at that place to an unconditional surren- 
der to the people. They were well treated how- 
ever, and no doubt were some of them, glad to be 
relieved of so disagreeable an office as had been 
imposed upon them. 

July. Great apprehensions were excited among 
the colonists by the introduction of large bodies of 
Mexican troops, especially at Bexar, under the pre- 
text of protecting the custom-house officers and 
preventing the ravages of the Indians, who had 
assumed a hostile attitude and committed depreda- 
tions upon the frontiers. The colonists, however, 
justly feared that this introduction and concentra- 
tion of troops boded ill, rather than good to them, 
and were greatly alarmed by the military parade, 
notwithstanding all the professions of Cos and 
Ugartechea, who would have them deceived with 
a show of amity and concern for their welfare. 
The public mind was in a ferment, committees of 
safety were appointed and a general convention 
advised. In August the hostile attitude assumed 
by the Mexicans became so apparent that the most 
incredulous could no longer be deceived as to their 
intentions. It was well known that Santa Anna 

334 TEXAS. 

was concentrating government troops at Saltillo 
for the invasion of Texas. The conduct of his 
creature, Colonel Nicolas Condey, commander of 
the garrison at Goliad, served also to develope the 
views of the Dictator in regard to this country. 
He commenced his petty reign of tyranny by in- 
carcerating the Alcalde, confining him in the cala- 
bose, and extorting from the administrador the 
sum of five thousand dollars, under the penalty of 
being marched to Bexar as a prisoner. The arms 
deposited with the town authorities were seized 
upon; citizens were pressed into the ranks as 
soldiers, and the troops quartered upon the people. 
A demand was also made for the arrest of Zavala, 
as a traitor, which was steadily refused, which 
served as another pretext for the introduction of 

September. By this time Gen. Stephen F. Aus- 
tin, who had been so lonsj confined in the dungeons 
of Mexico, re-appeared in Texas, when he im- 
mediately became the rallying point of the colon- 
ists. Prudent as he always had been, he was never 
a cringing slave, and now that he saw the dearest 
rights of his fellow-citizens jeopardised by the des- 
potism of Santa Anna, he who had once been his 
friend like the noble Zavala, became his foe, con- 
scious that the triumph of the despot would be the 
fall of his own country. He warmly seconded 
the advice of the committee of safety and others 
for the call of a general consultation. All now 
was preparation for the crisis which was evidently 

TEXAS. 335 

at hand, and when early in this month Gen. Cos 
landed at Copano with four hundred men, every 
voice was raised without hesitation for war! On 
the 23d, 700 Texans commenced their march from 
Brazoria under Gen. S. F. Austin, commander-in- 
chief, to attack the garrison at Bexar. 

The first blow was struck in the cause of Liber- 
ty on the 28th inst. at Gonzales, the Lexington of 
Texas. Ugartechea, the military commandant of 
Bexar, sent a demand to the Gonzales for the de- 
livery of a brass six pounder which he had learned 
was deposited in their town. They returned for 
answer that the gun originally belonged to the king 
of Spain, but had been captured and now belonged 
to Republican Mexico — that they held it as the 
property of the confederation, but did not recog- 
nise any right or title in centralists to lay claim to 
it. On this answer being reported to Ugartchea, 
he ordered out a detachment to take the gun by 
force. The detachment marched immediately and 
attacked Gonzales, but were bravely met, repulsed 
and compelled to retreat without having gained 
their object. 

October. The Mexican convention having an- 
nulled the federal constitution, proceeded to adopt, 
publish and demand obedience to a central govern- 
ment, formed upon the plan of Toluca for its basis. 
For the act of convention on this subject see Aus- 
tin's speech at Louisville, page 262. On the pub- 
lication of this act many of the states again took 
arms for a last desperate struggle against the ec- 

336 TEXAS. 

clesiastical and military despotism which was thus 
despoiling them of all their rights as freemen. They 
were too weak however to combat against a 
power so gigantic as that which was then ruling 
the destinies of Mexico. The presence of govern- 
ment troops in a short time stilled the tumult and 
repressed revolt in every part of the republic (as 
it was still called) with the exception of Texas. 
The spirit of the degraded Mexican was easily 
subdued, but the smiting of the oppressor's rod 
had served only to heighten the indignation and 
strengthen the resistance of the brave Anglo-Amer- 
ican. An enemy was now in the field far different 
from that which the Mexican Bonaparte had been 
accustomed to meet — one which was destined to 
teach his haughty spirit a lesson of humility and 
make him acquainted with the power that nerves 
the freeman's arms. 

In the early part of this month the general coun- 
cil of Texas met at San Felipe and engaged them- 
selves in sustaining the true interests of their con- 
stituents by providing means and devising measures 
for the prosecution of a war which had been abso- 
lutely forced upon them. In doing this they re- 
ceived daily encouragement in the co-operation 
of the people, and the cheering news of their gal- 
lantry and success in war, unmingled as the com- 
mencement of the contest providentially was with 
the stain of a single defeat. 

On the 9th of this month the town of Goliad, an 

TEXAS. 337 

old Spanish town containing a Mexican garrison 
commanded by Col. Francisco Sandoval was at- 
tacked by a company of Texans 52 strong, under 
Capt. Collinsworth, and captured. The place was 
taken in thirty minutes by storm at the hour of 
midnight. The fruits of this enterprise, 21 prison- 
ers, viz: 1 colonel commandant, 1 captain, 2 lieu- 
tenants and 19 privates. A considerable quantity 
of arms, 2 brass field pieces, 300 stand of muskets 
and ten thousand dollars worth of public stores 
fell into the hands of the victors. The Mexicans 
lost 3 killed and 7 wounded, the Texans had 1 man 
wounded. From Goliad the troops moved to 
Bexar and took up a position on Snlado creek 
within five miles of that place. 

While these events were transpiring in the field, 
the council were not idle. Preparations were 
made for putting the country in a state of defence; 
three companies of rangers were organized to 
protect the frontiers against hostile Indians, and ar- 
rangements were made to treat with and secure 
the neutrality if not the assistance of the different 
neighboring tribes. 

The army before Bexar continued to augment 
its number by the almost daily accession of volun- 
teers; and occasional slight skirmishes in which the 
Texans were invariably victors, tended to confirm 
the confidence in themselves and the contempt of 
the enemy which they already possessed. 

Gen. Austin at this period attempted to open a 
communication with Cos, but was told by the 



haughty brother-in-law of Santa Anna that he could 
treat with the Texans only in the character of 
Rebels. This answer pat an end to all hopes of 

On the 28th, an action took place at Conception, 
near Bexar, which resulted in a decided victory to 
the colonists, and considering the disparity in num- 
bers and equipment, was one of the most brilliant 
achievements of the war. 

A detachment of Cos's army, amounting to 400 
in number, of which there were several companies 
of cavalry and one of artillery, with two pieces 
of ordnance, made an attack about half an hour 
by sun on the encampment of Capt. Fanning, who 
with 92 men was resting on his arms at the mission 
of Conception. Notwithstanding the superiority 
of the enemy in numbers and military equipage, 
they were repulsed with the loss of near one hun- 
dred men in killed and wounded, amongst whom 
were many promising officers, while the Texans 
had but one man killed and none wounded. One 
piece of ordnance and a considerable number of 
muskets became the spoil of the victors. 

November 3. General Convention met at San 
Felipe de Austin, B. T. Archer, president. After 
some consultation, the "Solemn Declaration" of 
the people of Texas, (for which seepage 222) was 
passed by an unanimous vote. From the records 
of the election of officers, we select the following 
list as the most important: 

TEXAS. 339 

Henry Smith, elected Governor. 

J. W. Robinson, Lieutenant Governor. 

Sam. Houston, Major General of the Regular 

Gen. S. F. Austin, B. T. Archer, president of 
the convention, and W. H. Wharton were ap- 
pointed Foreign Commissioners. 

November. The hostile armies at San Antonio 
still continued their positions, apparently fearing 
to commit their fate to a general engagement. The 
colonists were, no doubt, waiting for reinforcements, 
and of this Cos was well aware ; but being afraid to 
attack even the force already collected under Aus- 
tin, he resolved to fortify himself in the town, and 
stand the seige of the enemy until succor could 
arrive. The streets of Bexar were accordingly 
barricaded, cannon planted on the top of the 
church, trees cut down in the way, and similar 
means of defence adopted to prevent the possibili- 
ty of any successful attempt to take him by storm. 

On the 3d inst., a detachment of 50 men from Go- 
liad under adjutant Westover, entered Lepanticlan, 
whose garrison, consisting of 21 men, surrendered 
on the same night and were set at liberty on pa- 
role not to bear arms again during the war. The 
Texans found here two cannon, a four and a two 
pounder, which had been taken from San Patricio. 
They made preparations to cross the river on the 
next evening, at which time about one half of the 
men having crossed over, they were informed that 
a company of 73 Mexicans were approaching to 

340 TEXAS. 

attack them. An action immediately ensued, 
which lasted 32 minutes, when the ememy, tired of 
sport with folks who understood the game so well, 
retreated, leaving a number of horses and the 
Alcalde of San Patricio wounded. The total loss 
of the Mexicans was 28 men. The Texans had 
one man wounded in the hand. 

On the 8th, another slight engagement took place 
near Bexar between small parties of the two ar- 
mies. A company of 40 men was sent out under 
Capt. Austin to intercept some troops of Cos com- 
missioned to burn the grass for 30 or 40 miles be- 
yond San Antonio. This company had proceeded 
3 or 4 miles when a Mr House fell from his horse 
and broke his neck. News of this was despatched 
to camp and a detachment of 27 was sent out 
under Capt. Bird to bring in the body. They 
were met by the enemy, consisting of 160 More- 
los cavalry, which after a severe engugement 
were compelled to retreat, with the loss of 5 killed 
and a number wounded. The Texans had one 
man slightly wounded. 

During this month a plan and form of the provis- 
ional government was adopted, the first governor 
of independant Texas inaugurated, and a decree 
passed to raise a regular army of 1120 men to 
serve for two years or during the war. By the 
sentiment expressed by the citizens of every part 
of Texas, war was evidently the choice of the 
people. And henceforward the counsellors of 
Texas discarded all doubt with regard to the course 

TEXAS. 341 

which policy and justice demanded of them to 
pursue to reinstate their countrymen in their rights 
and privileges which had been torn from them. 

On the 26th, an engagement took place near 
Bexar, where things still remained in statu quo be- 
tween equal forces of Mexicans and Texans, 300 
on each side. The loss of the Mexicans was about 
60 men killed and wounded, and 3 wounded and 
none killed of the Texans. 

December. On the 5th, Col. Milam with a party 
of 300 volunteers made an assault upon the town 
of Bexar. The party he divided into two divi- 
sions, which on entering the town took possession 
of two houses adjacent to the 'Plaza? or public 
square, where an unceasing and fierce battle raged, 
until the enemy were driven within their last strong 
hold across the river to the Alamo, On Tuesday 
the brave Milam who was the leader of the expe- 
dition received a rifle ball and fell in the cause of 
Liberty, to rise no more. After his death the com- 
mand devolved on Col. F. W. Johnson, the second 
officer of the detachment, who gained to himself 
the gratitude of an admiring country by the man- 
ner in which he discharged the duties of his im- 
portant trust. On Wednesday night Col. Ugar- 
techea effected an entrance into the Alamo with a 
reinforcement of about 300 men. The Black 
Flag was raised by Gen. Cos, who fought with a 
desperation worthy of a better cause, but in vain. 
The unconquerable Texans with their equally 
brave auxiliaries from the United States, were not 

342 TEXAS. 

to be dislodged, and the battle raged with tremeip 
dous fury, adding however, fresh courage and 
hopes to the Texans every minute, while terror 
and despair were fastening upon the enemy. At 
length dismayed and disheartened with the contest, 
instead of the Black Flag, the vain emblem of 
their savage cruelty, they were compelled to raise 
the signal of submission. Hostilities were ac- 
cordingly suspended, and on the 1 lth, commission^ 
ers being appointed by each party, agreed upon 
the following 


"Entered into by General Martin Perfecto de Cos, of the Perma- 
nent troops, and general Edward Burleson, of the Colonial 
troops of Texas. 

"1st. That General Cos and his officers retire with their 
arms and private property, into the interior of the republic, un- 
der parole of honor; that they will not in any way oppose the 
re-establi?hment of the federal Constitution of 1824. 

"2d. That the one hundred infantry lately arrived with the 
convicts, the remnant of the battalion of Morelos, and the cav- 
alry, retire with the general; taking their arma and ten rounds 
of cartridges for their mu e kets. 

u 3d. That the general take the convicts brought in by Col. 
Ugartechea, beyond the Rio Grande. 

"4th. That it is discretionary with the troops to follow their 
general, remain, or go to such point as they inay deem proper: 
but in case they should all or any of them separate, they too 
are to have their arms, &c. 

"5th. That all the public property, money, arms and muni- 
tions of war, be inventoried and delivered to general Burleson, 
"6th. That all private property be restored to its proper 

4 7th. That three officers of each army be appointed to make 

TEXAS. 343 

out the inventory, and see that the terms of the capitulation 
be carried into effect. 

"8th . That three officers on the part of general Cos remain 
for the purpose of delivering over the said property, stores, &c. 
"9th. That General Cos with his force, for the present, occu- 
py the Alamo; and general Burleson, with his force, occupy 
the town of Bejar; and that the soldiers of neither party pass 
to the other, armed. 

"10th. General Cos shall, within six days from the date 
hereof, remove his force from the garrison he now occupies. 

"11th. In addition to the arms before mentioned, general 
Cos shall be permitted to take with his force, a four pounder, 
and ten rounds of powder and ball. 

"12th. The officers appointed to make the inventory and 
delivery of the stores, &c. , shall enter the duties to which they 
have been appointed, forthwith. 

"13th. The citizens shall be protected in their persons and 

"I4lh. General Burleson will furnish General Cos with such 
provisions as can be obtained, necessary for his troops to the 
Rio Grande, at the ordinary price of the country. 

"15th. The sick and wounded of general Cos's army, to- 
gether with a surgeon and attendants, are permitted to re- 

"16th . No person, either citizen or soldier, to be molested 
on account of his political opinions hitherto expressed. 

u 17th. That duplicates of this capitulation be made out in 
Castilian and English, and signed by the commissioners appoint- 
ed , and ratified by the commanders of both armies. 

"18th. The prisoners of both armies, up to this day, shall 
be put at liberty . 

"The commissioners, Jose Juan Sanchez, adjutant inspector; 
Don Ramon Musquiz, and lieutenant Francisco Rada, and in. 
terpreter, Don Miguel Arciniega , appointed by the command- 
ant and inspector, general Martin Perfecto deCos, in connec- 
tion with colonel F. W.Johnston, major R. C. Morris, and 
captain J. G. Swisher, and interpreter, John Cameron; ap- 
pointed on the part of General Edward Burleson; after a long 
and serious discussion, adopted the eighteen preceding articles 
reserving their ratifications by the generals of both armies. 

344 TEXAS. 

"In virtne of which, we have signed this instrument in the 
city of Bejar, on the 11th December, 1835. 

Signed, Jose Juan Sanchez, 

Ramon Musiujz, 
J. Fkanosco de Rada, 
Miguel Arcinjega, 

F. W. Johnston, 
Robert C. Morris, 
James G. Swisher, 
John Cameron, 

I consent to, and will observe the above articles. 

Ratified and approved. 

Commander-in-chief of the Volunteer Army, 
A true copy. Edward Burleson, 


This was the most important post in Texas, the 
strength of whose fortifications was well known to 
be equal to that of any fortified place in N. Mex- 
ico, though defended by about fifteen hundred men, 
was captured by storm and its garrison compelled 
to surrender to a force one fifth of their own num- 
ber. The loss of the Mexicans in this contest of 
five days was not very large — exact number not 
known — ihe Texans lost three killed and about 25 

On the 14th, a horrible tragedy was acted under 
the auspices of Santa Anna at Tampico. An ex- 
pedition had been fitted out against that place by 
Gen- Mexia in which a number of Americans had 

TEXAS. 345 

participated, who upon the termination of that un- 
fortunate affair became prisoners of war, and upon 
this day were to be executed. As there have been 
many contradictory statements about this matter, 
and as it does not come properly within the juris- 
diction of the Texan historian, we will content 
ourselves with giving the declaration of the pris- 
oners themselves the day before their execution. 

'"We, the undersigned prisoners of war, condemned to be 
shot on Monday next the 14th inst., sit 7 P. M. by a military 
court martial, conformably to the established custom of the 
country, and composed of officers of the Mexican army, the 
Sentence being read and interpreted to ns on Saturday at 4 
P. M., by captain Alexander Fanluc of said army, as our last 
dying words, do declare ourselves innocent of the charge of 
either participating or colleaguing with any person or party, 
having for its object the revolutionizing or disturbing Mexico, 
and that the testimony given before the honorable court of en- 
quiry will corroborate this declaration, the facts and circum- 
stances being briefly as fol lows : 

"That about a hundred and thirty men, composed of Amer- 
icans, French and Germans, two-thirds of which being of the 
first named class (including three who are natives of foreign 
nations but naturalized) embarked on the 6th November last 
on board the American schooner Mary Jane, captain Hall, 
said to have been chartered or employed by a committee, of 
which Mr William Christy, of New Orleans, was the agent, 
to convey emigrants to Texas,, then understood to be at 
variance with the Mexican government. This opportunity 
afforded many in pecuniary circumstances a passage free, 
which was readily embraced and accepted of. The terms 
agreed upon were, that it was optional whether the party took 
up arms in defence of Texas or not; that they were at full lib- 
erty to act as they pleased when landed on the Texan shore. 
That taking advantage of this favorable opportunity they ac- 
cordingly embarked— the ve9Bel proceeded on the voyage, and 

346 TEXAS. 

nothing transpired to indicate a belief but all wa9 right as it 
should be, until the 6th day we was out from the Balize, although 
it had been previously understood that a general with his offi- 
cers and staff was on board the vessel, whose design was to act 
in concert with the Texans, and induce us to join him. Of this 
however we received no certain assent, but the truth is— Tarn- 
pico was our destination and an attack on the city, the de- 
sign, which was now evident, and not before — the land 
being in sight and the vessel standing in, it was announced 
that it was Tampico; that the steam boat then also in sight 
would have us in tow, and Tampico would be in our possession. 
Elated with this harangue proceeding from the authority, 
through the instrumentality of Captain Hawkins, one of the 
aid9 of General Mexia,some were induced to join his standard, 
but of these the number could not h;ive exceeded fifty, 35 
of whom were French and Creoles, of New Orleans, who doubt- 
less had a previous understanding, they being exclusively priv- 
ileged, having the quarter deck to themselves and seemingly 
armed <and equipped prematurely. The boat had us in tow 
soon, and all that could be crammed below were driven there 
ontilshe. struck the bar, and the steam boat soon afterwards. — 
In this awful predicament night closing on us, the sea breaking 1 
over us, efforts were used to reach the shore, which at imminent 
danger was effected safely, and were all landed during the 
latter part of the night and early part of the morning of the 
following day. A formidable fort surrendered without attack, 
and we built fires to dry our clothing. The party were now 
tendered arms and ammunition, and never having been sol- 
diers belore, some probably took them out of curiosity, oth- 
ers from necessity and others from compulsion; and it is assert- 
ed and believed that no one person was or had been acquainted 
with two others of the number of us, which so added to the hurry 
and bustle of the officer?, that before we could have an under- 
standing we were all mingled and bundled together more like 
a hords or drove of swine than a company of soldiers, compe- 
tent to act as such, particularly against regular trained sol- 
diery. At about 5 P. M., on Sunday, we were formed aud made 
ready for the attack, having added to our number about from 
4 5 to 50 citizens, goldier9 or adherents, and which were all 

TEXAS. 347 

judged to be Mexicans, a number being fellow prisoners with 
us, but without trial to this moment. Having no other resource 
we were necessarily compelled from obvious reasons reluctant- 
ly to join the party, with a full determination not to act in 
concert with it, but submit ourselves as prisoners of war, having 
no design or intention to fight; — and without one single excep- 
tion every individual of the undersigned, from motives of con- 
science and oppression added to the shameful abdncation or 
deception practised on us, and chose to throw ourselves on the 
clemency and mercy of the authorities. And this being the sub- 
stance of our testimony before the court, yet notwithstanding, 
mark the result which has terminated, not in an ignominious, 
but christian like death. Trusting in God and bearing in mind 
his promise and with our trust in his mercies, we die both as 
christians and men. 

44 We have now but nine hours allotted us, and conclude has- 
ti ly by requesting all who may hear of our fate to entertain no 
erroneous impression." 

To this declaration are subscribed the names of 
the twenty eight prisoners who were executed oft 
the 14th inst. Three others died in the hospital 
and thus escaped the infamy of that public death 
to which they had been sentenced by a sanguina* 
ry, relentless foe. 

January. The fall of Bexar for the time ended 
the war, and not a Mexican soldier was left in 
Texas. It was, however, justly apprehended, that 
this repose would be speedily followed by the in- 
vasion of the country by a much larger force than 
had yet been within her borders. The Texan s 
accordingly were not idle. Every preparation in 
their power was made to prevent the entrance of 
the enemy into their territory, and the commission- 
ers in the United States were enlisting the sympa- 
thies of that country in the cause of Texan liberty. 

348 TEXAS. 

An expedition was planned against Matamoras 
to be placed under the command of Col. F. W, 
Johnston, which from various causes was never 
carried into execution. The forces, however, 
which captured Bexar and which were to enter 
upon this expedition, moved southward and left 
that post with a garrison of not more than seventy- 
five men, a measure, which to say the least was 
imprudent, when it was well known or strongly 
suspected that an army of several thousand men 
would be in Texas in a short time, and that Bexar 
would be in all probability both from its situation 
and importance the first point of attack. 

February. On the 1st, elections were held for 
delegates to the general convention, which was 
to meet at Washington, the seat of government, 
on the first of March. The ticket in favor of In- 
dependence was chosen in all the municipalities 
without exception. The voice of Texas was be- 
yond all doubt for an absolute Declaration of Inde- 

News arrived and was speedily confirmed that 
3000 Mexicans were on their march for Texas, that 
large re-inforcements would follow, and that Santa 
Anna himself was to assume the command of the 
expedition. To add to the general alarm which 
was occasioned by this intelligence, a force was 
demanded to repress outrages committed by the 
Indians, instigated, no doubt, by agents of Mexico. 

Notwithstanding the alarm of the people of 
Texas in the expectation of invasion, their exei- 

TEXAS. 349 

tions were not commensurate with their fears, if 
they had been the tragedy of Bexar would have been 
prevented, and many brave and noble spirits would 
yet have lived to assist Texas with their swords 
and counsels. The Texans did not, however, even 
imagine the full extent of the danger which threat- 
ened them, and the news fell as a thunderbolt upon 
them, when they were told that an army of Mexi- 
cans under the command of Santa Anna himself, 
was beseiging the little band of heroes at San Anto- 
nio. The following letter, from the gallant and la- 
mented Travis, will serve to exhibit the state of the 
garrison and the spirit which animated them in the 
desperate condition in which they were placed: 

To the People in Texas, and all Americans in the 


Bejar,Feb. 24, 1S3G. S 

Fellow-citizen? and compatriot?, — 

I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans, 
under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual bombardment 
and cannonade, for twenty-four hours, and have not lost a man. 
The enemy have demandad a sunendcr at discretion, otherwise 
the garrison is to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I 
have answered the summon with a cannon shot, and our 
flag still waves proudly from the walb. / shall never sur- 
render or retreat: then I call on you, in the name of liberty, 
of patriotism, and of every thing dear to the Americen charac- 
ter, to come to our aid, with all despatch- The enemy are re- 
ceiving reinforcements daily, and will no doubt increase to 
three or four thousand, in lour or rive days. Though this call 
may be neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as 
possible, and die like a soldier, who never forgets what is due 
to his own honor and that of his eonntry. Victory or Death! 
W. BARRETT TRAVIS, Lieut. Col. Command 

350 TEXAS. 

P. S. The Lord it on our side. When the enemy appe a r- 
ed in sight, we had not three bushels of corn. We have since 
found, in deserted houses, eighty or ninety bushels, and got 
into the walla twenty or thirty head of beaves. T. 

March 1. The General Convention of Texas 
assembled at Washington, and on the ensuing day- 
passed unanimously an absolute Declaration of 
Independence, (for which vide page 269.) 

The following proclamation by Gen. Houston, 
exhibits the state of the country and of the army 
at this time : 

Army Orders. 

Convention Hall, > 
Washington, March 2, 1836- $ 

War is raging on the frontiers. Rejar is besieged by two 
thousand of the enemy, under the command of general Siesma. 
Reinforcements are on their march, to unite with the besieging 
army. By the lust report, our force in Bejar was only one hun- 
dred and fifty men strong. The citizens of Texas must rally to 
the aid of our army, or it will perish. Let the citizens of the 
East march to the combat. The enemy must be driven from 
our soil, or desolation will accompany their march upon us. In- 
dependence is declared — it must be maintained. Immediate 
action, united with valor, alone can achieve the great work. 
The services of all are forthwith required in the field. 

Commander-in-Chief of the Army. 

P. S. It is rumored that the enemy are on their march to 
Gonzales, and that they have entered the colonies. The fate 
of Bejar is unknown. The country must and »hall be defended. 
The patriots of Texas are appealed to in behalf of their bleeding 
comitry. S. H. 

Fannin, in the meantime, was besieged at Go- 
liad, and could render no assistance to the suffering 

TEXAS. 351 

garrison at San Antonio, and the whole country 
was plunged in confusion and dismay. The only 
encouragement offered for future success was the 
news of a treaty with the Indians and the generous 
sympathy which the visit and representations of 
their commissioners had excited in the United 
States of the North. 

Ever since the 25th of February, Bexar had 
been the scene of an active warfare between 150 
Texans, composing the garrison at that place, and 
about 2000 Mexicans under Santa Anna, who were 
attempting its reduction. Several hundred of the 
enemy had been killed, without any important loss 
sustained by the Texans, when the following letter 
was addressed by Col. Travis to the president of 
the Convention: 

Copy of a letter from Col, Travis to the President 
of the Convention, 


Bejar, March 3, 1836. ] 

Sir, — In the present confusion of the political authorities of 
the country, and in the absence of the commander-in-chief, I 
beg leave to communicate to you the situation of this garrison . 
You have doubtless already seen my official report of the action 
of the 25th ult. , made on that day to Gen. Sam. Houston, to- 
gether with the various communications heretofore sent by ex- 
press. I shall therefore confine myself to what has transpired 
since that date. 

From the 25th to the present date, the enemy have kept up 
a bombardment from two howitzers, (one a five and a half inch, 
and the other an eight inch,) and a heavy cannonade from two 
long nine pounders, mounted on a battery on the opposite side 
of the river, at the distance of four hundred yards from our 
walls. During this period the enemy have been busily employ- 

352 TEXAS. 

ed in encircling ns with entrenched encampments on nil sides, 
at the following distances, to wit: — in Brjar, four hundred yards 
west; in Lavilletn, three hundred yards south; at the powder 
house, one thousand yards east hy south; on the ditch, ei^ht 
hundred yards northeast, and at the old mill, eight handled 
yards north. Notwithstanding all this, a company of thirty- 
two men, from Gonzales, made their way into us on the morning 
of the 1st inst,, at 3 o'clock, and Col. J. 3. Bonham (a courier 
from Gonzales) got in this morning at 11 o'clock, without mo- 
lestation. I have so fortified this place, that the walls are cen- 
erally proof against cannon balls; and I still continue to in- 
trench on the inside, and strengthen the walls by throwing up 
the dirt. At least two hundred shells have fallen inside of our 
works without having injured a single man: indeed, we have 
been so fortunate as not to lose a man from any cause; and we 
have killed many of the enemy. The spirits of my men are 
still high, although they have had much to depress them. We 
have contended for ten days against an enemy whose numbers 
are variously estimated at from fifteen hundred to six thousand 
men, with Gen. Ramirer Siesma and Col. Batres, the aids-de- 
camps of Santa Anna, at their head. A.repoit was circulated 
that Santa Anna himself was with the enemy, but I think it 
was false. A reinforcement of about one thousand men is now 
entering Bejar from the west, and I think it more than probable 
that Santa Anna is now in town, from the rejoicing we heap. 
Col. Fannin is said to be on the march to this place with rein- 
forcements; but I fear it is not true, as I have repeatedly sent 
to him for aid without receiving any. Colonel Bonham, my 
special messenger, arrived at La Babia fourteen days ago, with 
a request for aid ; and on the arrival of the enemy in Bejar ten 
days ago, I &ent an express to Col. Fannin, which arrived at 
Goliad on the next day, urging him to send us reinforcements 
— none hare yet arrived. I look to the colonies alone for aid : un- 
less it arrives soon, I shall have to fight the enemy on his own 
terms. I will, however, do the best I can under the circum- 
stances; and I feel confident that the determined valor, and 
desperate courage, heretofore evinced by my men, will not fail 
them in the last struggle; and although they may be sacrificed 
to the vengeance of a gotluc enemy, the victory will cost the 


enemy so dear, that it will be worse for him than a defeat . I 
hope your honourable body will hasten on reinforcements, am- 
munition, and provisions to our aid, as 6oon as possible. We 
have provisions for twenty days for the men we have— our sap- 
ply of ammunition is limited. At least five hundred pounds of 
cannon powder, and two hundred rounds ofsix, nine,twelve,and 
eighteen pound balls— ten kegs of rifle powder, and a supply of 
lead, should be sent to this place without delay, under a suffi- 
cient guard. 

If these things are promptly sent and large reinforcements are 
hastened to this frontier, this neighborhood will be the great and 
decisive battle ground. The power of Santa Anna is to be 
met here, or in the colonies; we had better meet them here, 
than to suffer a war of desolation to rage in our settlements. A 
blood red banner waves from the church of Bejar, and in the 
camp above us, in token that the war is one of vengeance against 
rebels: they have declared us as such, and demanded that we 
should surrender at discretion, or that this garrison should be 
put to the sword. Their threats have had no influence on me, 
or my men, but to make all fi°;ht with desperation, and that 
high smiled courage which characterizes the patriot, who is 
willing to die in defence of his country's liberty and his own 

The citizens of this municipality are all our enemies except 
those who have joined us heretofore; we have but three Mexi- 
cans now in the fort; those who have not joined us in this ex- 
tremity, should be declared public enemies, and their property 
should aid in paying the expenses of the war. 

The bearer of this will give your honorable body, a statement 
more in detail, should he escape through the enemies lines- 
God and Texas — Victory or Death!! 

Your obedient servant, 

Lieut Col. Coram. 

P-S. The enemies troops are still arriving, and the reinforce, 
men.t will probably amount to two or three thousand. T. 

On the 6th inst., about midnight, the Alamo was 
attacked by the entire Mexican force, commanded 

354 TEXAS. 

by Santa Anna in person. A desperate contest 
ensued, in which prodigies of valor were wrought 
by this Spartan band, which garrisoned the fort 
until daylight, when only seven of them were found 
alive. These seven cried for quarter, but were 
told there was no mercy for them. Of this number 
were Col. David Crockett, Mr Benton, and the 
gallant Col. Bonham of South Carolina. When 
their demand for quarter was refused, they contin- 
ued fighting until all were butchered. Col. Travis 
on whose head a price was set, when wounded 
and dying, was attacked by a Mexican officer who, 
in imitation of the western savage, seemed desirous 
of "striking the body of the dead" — mustering his 
swiftly departing strength for one last act of noble 
daring, the brave Travis met and plunged his 
sword in the breast of the advancing enemy, and 
fell the victor with the victim, to rise no more. — 
Gen. Bowie was murdered in his bed where he had 
been confined for a length of time by severe ill- 
ness. One woman, Mrs. Dickerson, and Col. Tra- 
vis's servant, were the only persons in the fort 
whose lives were spared. Gen. Cos, on entering 
the fort, ordered Travis's servant to point out the 
body of his master; he did so, when Cos drew his 
sword and mangled his face and limbs with the 
malignant feeling of a savage. It is worthy of 
remark, that the flag of Santa Anna's army was a 
blood-red one, in place of the old constitutional tri- 
colored flag. The bodies of the slai n were thrown in- 
to a heap in the centre of the Alamo and burned. On 

TEXAS. 355 

Gen. Bowie's body being brought out, Gen. Cos 
said that he was too brave a man to be burned like 
a dog — then added, "pues no es cosa, eschade"—- 
never mind, throw him in. 

We might fill many pages with the details of 
this mournful catastrophe, did our limits permit; 
but we must pass on. 

Immediately after the capture of the place, Gen, 
Santa Anna sent Mrs. Dickerson and Col. Travis's 
servant to Gen. Houston's camp, accompanied by 
a Mexican with a flag, who was the bearer of a 
note from the President, offering the Texans peace 
and a general amnesty if they would lay down 
their arms and submit to his government. Gen. 
Houston's reply was, "True sir, you have succeed- 
ed in killing some of our brave men, but the Tex- 
ans are not yet whipped." 

Shortly previous to this, another butchery was 
enacted, to the disgrace of the Mexican arms. A 
party of 30 Texans, under F. W. Johnson and Dr. 
Grant, captured a small reconnoitering party of 
Mexicans under Rodriguez. From the manner in 
which they were taken they might have been fairly 
considered as spies, but with an undeserved and 
unrequited generosity and forbearance they spared 
the lives of the men and released Rodriguez on 
his parole of honor. About the time of the attack 
on Bexar the same party of the Texans uuder 
Johnson and Grant were taken by Rodriguez under 
circumstances nearly similar to those under which 
they had taken him a few days before. Grant 

356 TEXAS. 

and Johnson escaped; the rest, in defiance of the 
pledged honor of the Mexicans, were butchered 
to a man. 

Many events have transpired since that time, 
but the most important are those chronicled in the 
following documents, with which we shall conclude 
our narrative: 

Head quarters of the Army, ) 
San Jacinto, April 25, 1836. J 

To His Excellency D. G. Burnet, President of the 
Republic of Texas: 

Sir, — I regret extremely that my situation since 
the battle of the 21st has been such as to prevent 
my rendering you my official report of the same 
previous to this time. 

I have the honor to inform you, that on the even- 
ing of the 1 8th instant, after a forced march of fifty- 
five miles, which was effected in two days and a 
half, the army arrived opposite Harrisburgh; that 
evening a courier of the enemy wns taken, from 
which I learned that General Santa Annn, with one 
division of his three troops had marched in the di- 
rection of Lynch's ferry on the San Jacinto, burn- 
ing Harrisburgh as he passed down. The army 
was ordered to be in readiness to march early the 
next morning. The main body effected a crossing 
over Buffalo Bayou below Harrisburgh, on the 
morning of the 19th, having left the baggage, the 
sick and a sufficient camp guard in the rear. We 
continued the march throughout the night, and 
without refreshment. At day-light we resumed the 
line of march, and in a short distance our scouts 
encountered those of the enemy, and we received 

TEXAS. 357 

information that General Santa Anna was at New 
Washington, and would that day take up the line 
of march for Anahuao, crossing at Lynch s. The 
Texan army halted within a half a mile of the fer- 
ry in some timber, and were engaged in slaughter- 
ing beeves, when the army of Santa Anna was'dis- 
covered to be approaching in battle array, having 
been encamped at Clopper's point, eight miles be- 
low. Disposition was immediately made of our 
forces, and preparation for his reception. He took 
a position with his infantry and artillery in the 
centre, occupying an island of timber, his cavalry 
covering the left flank. The artillery then opened 
on our encampment, consisting of one double for- 
tified medium brass twelve pounder. 

The infantry, in columns, advanced with the de- 
sign of charging our lines, but were repulsed by a 
discharge of grape and cannister from our artillery, 
consisting of two sik pounders. The enemy had 
occupied a piece of timber within rifle shot of the 
left wing of our army, from which an occasional 
interchange of small arms took place between the 
troops, until the enemy withdrew to a position on 
the bank of the San Jacinto, about three quarters 
of a mile from our encampment, and commenced 
a fortification. A short time before sunset, our 
mounted men, about eighty-five in number, under 
the special command of Colonel Sherman, marched 
out for the purpose of reconnoitering the enemy. 
Whilst advancing they received a volley from the 
left of the enemy's infantry, and after a sharp ren- 
counter with their cavalry, in which ours acted 
well, and performed some feats of daring chivalry, 
they retired in good order, having had two men 
severely wounded, and several horses killed; in the 
mean time the infantry under the command of 

358 TEXAS. 

Lieutenant Colonel Willard, and Colonel Bush's 
regiment, with the artillery, had marched out for 
the purpose of covering the retreat if necessary. 
All those fell back in good order to our encamp- 
ment about sunset, and remained without any os- 
tensible action until the 21st, at half past three 
o'clock — taking the first refreshment which they 
had enjoyed for two days. The enemy in the 
mean time extended the right flunk of their infan- 
try so as to occupy the extreme point of a skirt of 
timber on the bank of the San Jacinto, and secured 
their left by a fortification about five feet high con- 
structed of packs and baggage, leaving an opening 
in the centre of the breastwork in which their ar- 
tillery was placed — the cavalry upon their left 

About 9 o'clock on the morning of the 21st, the 
enemy were reinforced by 500 choice troops, un- 
der the command of General Cos, increasing their 
effective force to upwards of 1500 men, while our 
aggregate force for the field numbered 783. At 
half past three o'clock in the evening, I ordered 
the officers of the Texan army to parade their re- 
spective commands, having in the mean time order- 
ed the bridge on the only road communicating with 
the Brazos, distant eight miles from our encamp- 
ment, to be destroyed, thus cutting offall possibility 
of escape. Our troops paraded with alacrity and 
spirit, and were anxious for the contest. Their 
conscious disparity in numbers only seemed to in- 
crease their enthusiasm and confidence, and height- 
ened their anxiety for the conflict. Our situation 
afforded me an opportunity of making the arrange- 
ments preparatory to the attack, without exposing 
our designs to the enemy. The 1st Regiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Burieson, was assigned thecen* 

TEXAS. 359 

tre. The 2d Regiment* under the command of 
Colonel Sherman, formed the left wing of the army. 
The Artillery, under the special command of Col- 
onel George* W. Herkley, inspector-general, was 
placed on the right of the 1st Regiment; and four 
companies of Infantry, under the command of 
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Millard, sustained the 
Artillery upon the right. Our cavalry, sixty-one in 
number, commanded by Colonel Mirabau B.Lamar, 
(whose gallant and daring conduct on the previous 
day had attracted the admiration of his comrades, 
and called him to that station,) placed on our ex- 
treme right, completed our line. Our cavalry was 
first despatched to the front of the enemy's left, 
for the purpose of attracting their notice, whilst an 
extensive island of timber afforded us an oppor- 
tunity of concentrating our forces and displaying 
from that point, agreeably to the previous design of 
the troops. Every evolution was performed with 
alacrity, the whole advancing rapidly in line, and 
through an open prairie, without any protection 
whatever for our men. The artillery advanced and 
took station within two hundred yards of the ene- 
my's breastwork, and commenced an effective fire 
with grape and cannister. 

Colonel Sherman with his regiment having com- 
menced the action upon our left wing, the whole 
line, at the centre and on the right, advancing in 
double quick time, rung the \yar cry "Remember the 
Alamo" received the enemy's fire, and advancing 
within point blank shot before a piece was dis- 
charged from our lines. Our line advanced with- 
out a halt, until they were in possession of the 
woodland and the enemy's breastwork. The right 
wing of Burleson's and the left of Millard's taking 
possession of the breastwork; our artillery having 

360 TEXAS. 

gallantly charged up within seventy yards of the 
enemy's cannon, when it was taken hy our troops. 
The conflict lasted about eighteen minutes from 
the time of the close action, until we were in pos- 
session of the enemy's encampment, taking one 
piece of cannon, (loaded.) four stand of colours, all 
their camp equippage, stores and baggage. Our 
cavalry had charged and routed that of the enemy 
upon the right, and given pursuit to the fugitives, 
which did not cease until they arrived at the bridge 
which I have mentioned before. Captian Karnes, 
always among the foremost in danger, command- 
ed the pursuers. The conflict in the breastwork 
lasted but a few moments? many of the troops en- 
countered hand to hand, and not having the ad- 
vantage of bayonets on our side, our riflemen used 
their pieces as war clubs, breaking many of them 
off at the breech. The route commenced at half 
past four, and the pursuit by the main army con- 
tinued until twilight. A guard was then left in 
charge of the enemy's encampment, and our army 
returned with their killed and wounded. In the 
battle, our loss was two killed and twenty-three 
wounded, six of whom mortally. The enemy's loss 
was 630 killed, among which was 1 general officer, 
4 colonels, 2 lieutenant colonels, 7 captains, 12 
lieutenants. Wounded 280, of which were 5 colo- 
nels, 3 lieutenant colonels, 2 second lieutenant 
colonels, 7 captains, 1 cadet. Prisoners 730 — 
President General Santa Anna, General Cos, 4 colo- 
nels, aids to General Santa Anna, 6 lieutenant colo- 
nels, the private secretary of General Santa Anna, 
and the Colonel of the Guerrero Battalion, are in- 
cluded in the number. Gen. Santa Anna was not 
taken until the 22nd, and General Cos on yesterday, 
very few having escaped. About 600 muskets, 

TEXAS. 361 

300 sabres and 200 pistols, have been collected 
since the action; several hundred mules and horses 
were taken, and near twelve thousand dollars in 
specie. For several days previous to the action, 
our troops were engaged in forced marches, expos- 
ed to excessive rains, and the additional inconveni- 
ence of extremely bad roads, ill supplied with ra- 
tions and clothing — yet amid every difficulty they 
bore up with cheerfulness and fortitude, and per- 
formed their marches with speed and alacrity — 
there was no murmuring. 

Previous to and during the action, my staff 
evinced every disposition to be useful, and were 
actively engaged in their duties. In the conflicts 
1 am assured that they demeaned themselves in 
such manner as proved them worthy members of 
the army of San Jacinto. Colonel T. J. Rusk, Sec- 
retary of War, was on the field. For weeks his 
services had been highly beneficial to the army; in 
battle he was on the left wing, where Colonel Sher- 
man's command first encountered and drove the 
enemy; he bore himself gallantly, and continued 
his efforts and activity, remaining with the pursuers 
until resistance ceased. 

I have the honor of transmitting herewith a list 
of all the officers and men who were engaged in 
the action which I respectfully request may be 
published as an act of justice to the individuals. 
For the commanding General to attempt discrimi- 
nation as to the conduct of those who commanded 
in the action, or those who commanded, would be 
impossible. Our success in the action is conclusive 
proof of their daring intrepidity and courage; every 
officer and man proved himself worthy of the cause 
in which he battled, while the triumph received a 
lustre from the humanity which characterized their 

362 TEXAS. 

conduct after victory, and richly entitles them to 
the admiration and gratitude of their General. Nor 
should we withhold the tribute of our grateful 
thanks from that Being who rules the destinies of 
nations, and has in the time of greatest need ena- 
bled us to arrest a powerful invader whilst devas- 
tating our country. 

I have the honor to be, 

With high consideration, 
Your obedient servant, 



Return of the killed and wounded in the actions 
of the 20th and 21st of April, 1836. 

Major General Samuel Houston, wounded severely. 


Company A. Geo. Waters, private, slightly wounded 21st- 

B. James Cunly and W. S.Walker, privates, badly wound- 

ed 21st; 

C. Captain Jesse Beillingsly, slightly wounded 21st. 
Lemuel Blackely, private, killed " 
Logan Vandeveer, " badly wounded il 
Washington Anderson, private, slightly 

Calvin Page, 

Martin Walker, " badly 

D. Capt. Mosely Baker, slightly " 
CD. Anderson, private, slightly 
Allen Ingram, " badly 

F. Levy Wilkinson, " slightly " 

James Nelson, " 

Mitchell Putnam, " 

H. A. R. Stephens, " slightly " 

J.Tom, " badly, ♦« 

J. Cooper. " killed, 

K. B. Brigham, u killed, 

Total— killed 3; wounded 15. 

TEXAS. 363 


Company D. 2d Lieut. Lamb, killed, 21st. 

G. W. Robinson, private, severely wounded " 
Wm. Winters, " •« " •« 

1st Sergeant Albert Gallatin, slightly «• " 

E. Washington Lewis, private, severely " " 
E.Gector, •« slightly " 

F. Alphonso Steel, severely " " 
K. 1st Lieut. J. C. Hale, killed 

J. Capt. Smith, slightly " " 
1st Sergeant Thos. P. Fowl, killed 
William F. James, private, severely " 
Trask, " severely " 20th. 

Killed 3; severely wounded 5; slightly 3. Total 11. 

Dr. Wm. Mosely, wounded severely — died since. 

A. R. Stevens «' «« " " 

Lieut. Col. J. C. Neil, of the artillery, wounded severely 

on the 20th. 
Wm. A. Park, of the artillery, wounded slightly on 21st. 
Devereaux J. Wood iff, of the cavalry, wounded severely 

on the 20th. 

Army Orders. 

Head Quarters, > 
San Jacinto, May 5, 1836,$ 

Comrades — Circumstances connected with the 
battle of the 21st, render our separation for the 
present unavoidable. I need not express to you 
the many painful sensations which that necessity 
inflicts upon me. I am solaced, however, by the 
hope, that we shall soon be re-united in the great 
cause of liberty. Brigadier General Rusk is ap- 
pointed to command the army for the present. I 
confide in his valor, his patriotism and his wisdom — 
his conduct in the battle of San Jacinto was suffi- 
cient to ensure your confidence and regard. 

The enemy, though retreating, are still within 
the limits of Texas — their situation being known 

364 TEXAS. 

to you, you cannot be taken at surprise. Discip- 
line and subordination will render you invincible — 
your valor and heroism have proved you unrivall- 
ed. Let not contempt for the enemy throw you off 
your guard. Vigilance is the first duty of a soldier, 
and glory the proudest reward of his toils. 

You have patiently endured privations, hard- 
ships and difficulties, unapplied; you have en- 
countered odds of two to one of the enemy against 
you, and borne yourselves in the onset and con- 
flict of battle in a manner unknown in the annals 
of modern warfare. While an enemy to your in- 
dependence remains in Texas, the work is incom- 
plete, but when liberty is firmly established by your 
patience and your valor, it will be fame enough to 
say, "I was a member of the army of San Jacinto/' 

In taking leave of my brave comrades in arms, 
I cannot suppress the expression of that pride 
which I so justly feel in having had the honor to 
command them in person, nor will I withhold the 
tribute of my warmest admiration and gratitude 
for the promptness with which my orders were 
executed, and union maintained through the army. 
At parting, my heart embraces you with gratitude 
and affection, 


R01E51 17270 




The Supreme Executive Power, provisionally appoint- 
ed by the general sovereign Congress of the Nation, to 
all who shall see these presents, Know, and understand, 
That the same Congress has decreed and sanctioned the 

In the name of God, all powerful, author and supreme 
legislator of society. The general constituent Congress 
of the Mexican Nation, in the discharge of the duties con- 
fided to them by their constituents, in order to establish 
and fix its political Independence, establish and confirm 
its Liberty, and promote its prospcrity'and glory, decree 
as follows: 


Title 1st. Only Section. — Of the Mexican Nation, its 
Territory and Religion. 

Article 1. The Mexican Nation, is forever free and 
independent of the Spanish government, and every other 

2. Its Territory consists of that, which was formerly 
called the vice-royalty of New-Spain, that styled the cap- 
tain generalship of Tucaton, that of the commandant gen- 
eralship, formerly called the Internal Provinces of East 
and West, and that of Lower and Upper Caliafornia, with 
the lands annexed, and adjacent lands in both seas. By 
a constitutional law, a demarkation of the limits of the 
Federation will be made as soon as circumstances will 



3. The Religion of the Mexican Nation, is, and will be- 
perpetually, the Roman Catholic Apostolic. The Nation* 
will protect it by wise and just laws, and prohibit the ex- 
ercise of any other whatever. 

Title 2d. Only Section.— -Form of Government of the 

Nation, of its integral parts and division of Supreme 


4. The Mexican Nation adopts for its Government, the 
form of Republican representative, popu lar Federal. 

5. The parts of this Federation, are the States and 
Territories as follows. — The State of the Chipas, Chiua- 
hua, Coahuila and Texas, Durango, Guanajuato, Mexico, 
Michoacan, New Leon, Oajaca, Puebla de los Angeles, 
Quetaro, San Luis Polosi, Sinora and Sinaloa, Tobasco, 
Tumaulipas, Vera Cruz, Xalisco, Yucatan Tacatecas, the 
Territory of Upper Caliafornia, Lower Caliafornia, Coli- 
ma and Santa Fe of New Mexico — a constitutional law 
shall fix the character of Tlaxcala. 

6. The supreme power of the Federation will be divid- 
ed for its exercises, in Legislative, Executive, and Judi- 

Title 3d. Section 1st. — Legislative power, of its nature 
and the mode of exercising it. 

7. The legislative power of the Federation, shall be 
disposed in a General Congress, this to be divided in two 
houses, one of Deputies (Representatives) and the other 
of Senators. 

Section 2d.~Ofihe Honse of Representatives. 

8. The House of Representatives shall be composed of 
Representatives elected totally every two years, by the 
citizens of the States. 

9. The qualifications of the electors shall be constitu- 
tionally prescribed by the Legislatures of the States; to 
whom, likewise, appertains the regulation of the elec- 
tions, in conformity with the principles established by this 

10. The general basis for the appointment of represen- 
tatives, shall be the population. 

11. For every 80,000 souls, one Representative shall 
be appointed, or for a fraction which passes 40,000. The 
State which may not contain this population, shall, not- 
withstanding, appoint one representative. 



12. A census of the whole Federation, which shall be 
formed in five years and renewed every ten, shall serve 
to designate the tumber of Deputies corresponding to 
each Stale; and in the mean time, it shall he regulated a- 
greeably to the basis established in the former Article, by 
the census which governed in the election of Deputies in 
the present Congress. 

13. In the same manner shall be elected in each State, 
the necessary number of supernumerary representatives, 
in the ratio of one for every three full representatives, or 
for a fraction amounting to two, the States which may 
contain less than three lull representatives shall elect one 

14. The Territory which may contain more than 40,000 
inhabitants, shall appoint a lull representative and one 
supernumerary, who shall have a voice and vote in the foi- 
ination of laws and decrees. 

15. The Territory which may not contain the foregoing 
number of population, shall appoint one full representa- 
tive and one supernumerary, who shall he entitled to a 
voice in all matters. The election of Representatives 
for the Territories shall be regulated by a special law. 

10. In eve*y Stale and Territory of the federation, 
the appointment of Representatives shall be made on the 
first Sunday in October previous to its renovation. The 
election to be indirect. 

17. The election of Representatives concluded, the e- 
lectoral college shall remit through their President to the 
Council of Government, a legal return of the election, 
and notify the elected of their appointment by an official 
letter, which shall serve as a credential of election. 

18. The President of the Council of Government shall 
give to the returns, referred to in the preceding Article, 
the direction prescribed bv the regulations of said Coun- 

19. To be a Representative it is required — First, To 
be at the time of the election, twenty-five years of age, 
complete. Second, To have been a resident of the State, 
from which elected, at least two years, or born in the 
State, although a resident in another. 

20. Those not born in the territory of the Mexican 
Nation, to be Representatives, must have, besides eight 
years' residence in it, S000 dollars of real estate in any 
part of the Republic, or an occupation that produces thent 
1000 per year. 


21. Exceptions to the foregoing Article— First, those 
born in any other part of America, that in 1810 apper- 
tained to Spain, and has not united itself to another na- 
tion, nor remains subject to the former, to whom three 
gears' residence in the Territory of the Federation is suf- 
ficient, in addition to the requisite prescribed in the 19th 
Article. Second, The military not born in the Territory 
of the republic, who, with arms, sustained the indepen- 
dence of the country, eight years' residence, complete, 
is sufficient, and the requisites prescribed in the I9th Ar- 

22. In the election of Representatives, actual resi- 
dence shall have preference over birth and non-residence. 

23. Those cannot be Representatives — First, Those 
deprived orsuspended from the rights of citizenship. Se- 
cond, The President and Vice-President of the Federa- 
tion. Third, The members of the Supreme Judicial 
Court. Fourth, Secretaries of the Cabinet and the of- 
ficers of their departments. Fifth, Those employed in 
the Treasury, whose functions extend over the whole Fed- 
eration. Sixth, Governors of States and Territories, 
Commandant Generals, A rchbishops and ftishops, Gover- 
nors of Archbishoprics and bishoprics, Provisors and Vi- 
car Generals, Circuit Judges, Commissary Generals of 
treasury and war, for the Slates and Territories over 
which they exercise their functions. 

24. In order that any person enumerated in the fore- 
going Article may be eligible, it is necessary they should 
have ceased their functions six months previous to their 

Section 3d.— Of t he Senate. 

25. The Senate shall be composed of two Senators from 
each State, elected by an absolute majority of the votes of 
the Legislatures, and renewed by one-half every two 

26. The seats of the Senators appointed in the se- 
cond place, shall be vacated in two years, and the first 
appointed in four years, and so on in succession. 

27. When a vacancy occurs by the death, resignation, 
or other cause, it shall be filled by the corresponding Leg- 
islature in session, if not as soon as it meets. 

28. To be a Senator it is necessary to possess all the 
qualifications required by the former Section, to be a re- 


presentalive, and moreover, to be at the time of election, 
thirty years of age. 

29. No person can be a Senator, who is disqualified from 
being a Representative. 

30. In the election of Senators, the 22d Article shall 
also govern. 

31. When the same individual is elected for a Senator 
and Representative, the first election shall have the pre- 

32. The periodical election of Senators shall be made 
in all the States on the same day, which shall be on the 
first day of September previous to the renewal of half 
the Senators. 

33. The election of Senators concluded, the Legisla- 
ture shall remit a legal return through their President, to 
the President of the Council of Government; and notify 
the elected of their appointment, by means of an official 
letter, which shall serve them as credentials. The Presi- 
dent of the Council of Government shall give the direc- 
tion to these returns indicated in the 18lh Article. 

Section 4th. — Of the Individual Functions of both Houses 
and Prerogatives of its Members. 

34. Each House in its preparatory meeting, and in eve- 
ry thing appertaining to its government, shall follow the 
rule formed by the present Congress; provided that a- 
mendments may be made to thern in future, should both 
Houses consider it necessary. 

35. Each House shall judge of the elections of its res- 
pective members, and resolve all di.ubts which may occur 
in them. 

36. The Houses cannot open their sessions without the 
presence of more than the half of the total number of 
its members; but those present of one and the other, must 
unite on the day appointed forthe regulation of theinler- 
nal government of each, and respectively compel the at- 
tendance of the absentees, under the penalties prescrib- 
ed by the law. 

37. The Houses will communicate with one another, 
and with the Supreme Executive Power, by means of their 
respective Secretaries, or by means of deputations. 

38. Either of the two Houses may sit as Grand Jurors, 
on accusations. First, Against the President of the Fed- 
eration, for the crime of Treason against the National In- 


dependence or the established form of Government, or 
for subordination or bribery during the time of his ser- 
vice. Second, also, against the President, for acts man- 
ifestly intended to impede the election of President, Sen- 
ators, or Representatives, or to prevent them from enter- 
ing on the exercise of their duties in the manner pre- 
scribed in this Constitution, or to deprive the Chambers 
of the use of any of the powers constitutionally vested in 
them. Third, against the members of the Supreme Court 
and the Secretaries of the departments, for any crime 
committed during the time of their service. Fourth, a- 
gainst the Governors of the States, for infractions on the 
Federal Constitution, laws of the Union, or orders of the 
President of the Federation, which may not be manifest- 
ly contrary to the Constitution and general laws of the 
Union, and likewise by the publication of laws and de- 
crees of the Legislatures of their respective States, con- 
trary to the same constitution and laws. 

39. The House of Representatives will exclusively 
form a Grand Jury, when the President or his ministers 
may be accused of acts in which the Senate or theCoun- 
cilof Government have concurred by reason of its attri- 
butions. The House will, in the same manner, serve as 
Grand Juror, in cases of accusation against the Vice- 
President, for any offence committed during the term of 
hi is service. 

40. The House, before which has been made (he accu- 
sation of the individual spoken of in the two preceding 
articles will form itself in a Grand Jury, and if it is de- 
clared, by the vote of two-thirds of the members present, 
that there is cause of accusation, the functions of the ac- 
cused shall be suspended, and he shall be placed at the 
disposition of the competent tribunal. 

41. Any Representative or Senator, can make any pro- 
position in writing, or present projects of a law or de- 
cree in his respective chamber. 

42. The Representatives and Senators shall be inviolable 
for the opinions manifested in the discharge of their du- 
ties, and never can be called to account for them. 

43. In all criminal prosecutions instituted against Sen- 
ators or Representatives, from the time of their election 
until two months after the expiration of their term of 
service, the former shall be accused before the Chamber 
of the latter, and the latter before that of the former; 


eachChamber composing a Grand Jury respectively for 
this object. 

44. if the Chamber sitting 1 as a Grand Jury, in the cases 
referred to in the last Article, declare by a vole of two- 
thirds of the menbers present, that there is cause for accu- 
sation, the accused shall be suspended and placed at the 
disposition of the competent tribunal. 

45. The emoluments of the Representatives and Sen- 
ators shall he determined by law, and paid from the gen- 
eral treasury of the Federation. 

46. Each House, and also the meetings spoken of in 
the 36th Article shall have power to deliver such orders 
as they may deem necessary to carry their resolutions in- 
to effect, issued by virtue of the functions granted to each 
by the 35th, 36th, 39th, 40th, 44th, and 45th Articles of 
the Constitution, and the President of the United States 
shall cause them to be executed without making any ob- 
servations upon them. 

Section 5. — Of the faculties of the General Congress. 

47. Every resolution of the general Congress shall have 
the character of a law or decree. 

48. The resolutions of the general Congress, to be en- 
titled to the force of law or decree, must be signed by the 
President, except in cases otherwise provided in this Con- 

49. The laws and decree? which emanate from the gen- 
oral Congress, shall have for object — First, to sustain the 
National Independence, and provide for the National se- 
curity and preservation of its exterior relations. Second, 
to preserve the Federal Union of the States, and the 
peace and public order of the interior of the Federation. 
Third, maintain the independence of the States among 
themselves, in all that relates to their interior govern- 
ment, in conformity to the Constitutional Act, and this 
Constitution. Fourth, sustain the proportional equality 
of obligations and rights which the States are entitled to 
before the law. 

50. The exclusive faculties of the genera! Conges3 are 
the following: — First, promote illustration, assuring for a 
limited time, exclusive rights to authors for their respec- 
tive works; establishing Colleges for marine, artillery, and 
engineers; erecting one or more establishments in which 
are to be taught, natural, political, and moral scien- 


ces, noble arts, and the languages, without prejudice 
to the power which the Legislatures have to regulate pub- 
lic education in their respective States. Second, promote 
the general prosperity, by opening and improving roads 
and canals, without impeding the States in the improve- 
ment of theirs; establishing mails and post-offices, and se- 
curing for a limited time, exclusive right to the inven- 
tors, perfectioners or introducers of any branch of indus- 
try, for their respective inventions, perfections, or new 
introductions. Third, protect and regulate the political 
liberty of the press, in order that its exercises may never 
be suspended, and much less abolished in any of the States 
and Territories of the Federation. Fourth, admit new 
States to the Federal Union or Territories, incorporating 
them in the Nation. Fifth, regulate definitively, the 
Limits of the State, when they cannot agree among 
themselves about the demarkation of their respective dis- 
tricts. Sixth, form States out of Territories, or unite 
them to those already existing. Seventh, unite twoormore 
States, by a petition of their Legislatures, to form one 
only, or form a new one from the limits of those that al- 
ready exist, with the approbation of three-fourths of the 
members present of both houses, and a ratification of an 
equal number of the Legislatures of the other States of 
the Union. Eighth, fix the general expenses, establish 
the necessary contributions to cover them, regulate their 
collection, determine the inversion, and lake annually 
accounts thereof from the government. Ninth, contract 
debts upon the credit of the Federation, and designate 
guarantees to cover them. Tenth, acknowledge the Na- 
tional debt, and designate means for its consolidation and 
payment. Eleventh, regulate the commerce with foreign 
nations, and among the different States and Tribes of In- 
dians. Twelfth, give instructions to celebrate covenants 
with the Apostolic Chair, approve them for their ratifica- 
tion, and regulate the exercise of the patronage in all 
parts of the Nation. Thirteenth, approve treaties of 
peace, alliance, friendship, federation, armed neutrality, 
and whatsoever others which the President of the United 
States may celebrate with foreign powers. Fourteenth, 
to establish all kinds of ports, custom-houses, and deignate 
their locations. Fifteenth, determine and regulate the 
weight, standard, value, type and denomination of money 
in all the States of the Federation, and adopt a general 


system of weights and measures. Sixteenth, declare war 
after examining the data prescribed by the President of 
the United States. Seventeenth, form regulations rela- 
tive to granting letters of marque and reprisal, and to de- 
clare good or bad captures by sea and land. Eighteen, 
designate the armed force of sea and land, fix the respec- 
tive quota of men to each State, and give orders and regu- 
lations for their organization and service. Nineteenth, 
form relations to organize, arm, and discipline the local 
militia of the Slate, reserving to each one the appoint- 
ment of their respective officers, and the faculty of train- 
ing them conformably to the discipline prescribed by said 
regulations. Twentieth, to grant or deny the entrance 
of foreign troops in the Territory of the Federation. 
Twenty-first, permit or not, the station of squadrons of 
any other power, for more than one month, in the Mexi- 
can ports. Twenty-second, permit or not, the departure 
of National troops without the limits of the Federation. 
Twenty-third, create or suppress public offices of the 
Federation, designate, augment or diminish their emol- 
uments and pensions. Twenty-fourth, grant premiums 
and recompenses to corporations or persons who have 
rendered important services to the Republic, and decree 
public honors to the posthumous memory of great men. 
Twenty-fiflh, grant amnesty or pardon for crimes, the 
cognizance of which appertains to the tribunal of the 
Federation, in the cases, and with the previous require- 
ments prescribed by law. Twenty-sixth, to establish a 
general law of naturalization. Twenty-seventh, to give 
uniform laws in every State, on the subject of banUrupt- 
cies. Twenty-eighth, to select a place to serve as a resi- 
dence for the supreme powers of the Federation, and ex- 
ercise within its limits the attributions of the legislative 
powers of the State. Twenty-ninth, to change such resi- 
dence when they may deem it necessary. Thirtieth, give 
laws and decrees for the regulation of the interior admin- 
istration of the Territories. Thirty-first, dictate all the 
laws and decrees that may be conducive to fulfil the ob- 
ject spoken of in the 49th Article, without interfering 
with the interior administration of the State. 

Section 6th. — Formation of the Laws, 

51. The formation of laws and decrees can proceed in- 
discriminately from either of the two Houses, with the ex- 



ception of those which arise from contributions orimposts, 
which cannot have origin except in the House of Repre- 

52. There shall be considered as insipients of law or 
decree— First, the propositions which the President of the 
United Mexican States may deem conducive to the gener- 
al good of society, and as such, particularly recommend 
them to the House of Representatives. Second, the pro- 
positions or plans of laws ordecrees which the legislature 
may direct to either house. 

53. All projects of a law ordecree, without any excep- 
tion, shall be successively discussed in both Houses, ob- 
serving in each with exactitude, the rules relative to the 
form of debates, interval and mode of proceeding in dis- 
cussing and voting. 

54. The projects of a law or decree rejected in the House 
where it originated, before being sent to the other House, 
shall not be renewed in the same House by its members 
in the sessions of that year, but must remain until the fol- 
lowing year. 

55. Jfthe project of a law ordecree, after having been 
debated, should he approved by the absolute majority of 
the members present of both Houses, shall be passed to 
the President of the United States, who also, if he ap- 
proves it, shall sign and publish it, and if not, return it, 
with his observations, within the term of ten days, (Sundays 
and solemn festivals excepted,) to the House of its origin. 

56. The project of a law or decree, returned by the 
President in conformity .with the preceding Article, shall 
be a second time discussed in the two Houses. If in both 
of these it should be approved by two-thirds of the members 
present, it shall be again returned to the President, who, 
without excuse, must sign it and publish it; but if it was 
not approved by the vote of two-thirds of both Houses, 
it cannot be renewed in either of them until the next 

57. If the President does not return any project of a 
law or decree within the time prescribed in the 55th Ar- 
ticle, it shall, from that circumstance be considered as 
sanctioned, and as such shall be promulgated, unless in 
the mean time, the session of congress should be closed 
orsu&pended, in which case the return must be made on 
,the first day in which Congresa shall be re-assembled. 

58. The project of a law ordecree, totally rejected for 
the first time by the House to which it has been sent, shall 


be returned with their observations to the one in which it 
originated, if after a re-examination the said House shall 
again approve of it by a vote of two-thirds of the members 
present, it shall be sent a second lime to the House that 
rejected it, who cannot a second time reject it without a 
concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. 

59. The projects of a law or decree, approved of after 
a second revision by two-thirds of the members of the 
House where it originated, and not rejected by two- 
thirds of the members of the other house, shall be sent to 
the President, who shall sign and publish it, or return it 
within ten days (Sundays, &c. excepted) to the House 
where it originated, with his observations. 

60. The project of a law or decree, which according to 
the foregoing Article, the President returned to the 
House of its origin, il shall be again taken into consider- 
ation, and if this approves it by a vote of two-thirds of 
the members present, and the revising body does not re- 
ject, by an equal number of its members it shall be re- 
turned to the President, who must publish it. But if it 
was not approved by the vote of two-ihirds of the House 
of its origin, or was rejected by an equal number of the 
revising body, it cannot be renewed until the ordinary 
subsequent sessions. 

61. In the event of the rejection a second time of the 
revising body, in conformity with the 58th Article, the 
project shall be considered rejected, and cannot be re-con- 
sidered until the following year. 

62 In the amendments which the revising body make 
to any project of a law or decree, there shall be observed 
the same formalities required before the project of a law 
can be sent to the President. 

63. The parts of a project of a law or decree rejected 
for the first time by the revising body, shall take the same 
course as those tut all y rejected by it for the first time. 

64. In the interpretation, modification, or revocation 
of the laws ordecrees, the same requisites shall be observ- 
ed which are prescribed for their formation. 

65. All resolutions of the general Congress communica- 
ted to the President of the Republic, must be signed by 
the President of both Houses and by a Secretary of each 
one of them. 

66. For the formation of every law or decree, it is ne- 
cessary that an absolute majority of all the members of 
each House should be present in their respective Houses. 


Section 7th. —Of the time, duration and place of the Ses- 
sions of the General Congress. 

67. The general Congress shall meet every year oft the 
first day of January at the place designated hy law; its in- 
ternal rules shall prescribe the previous forms necessary 
at the opening of its sessions and the formalities which are 
to be observed at its installation. 

"68. The President of the Federation shall assist at the 
installation, and pronounce a discourse analogous to this 
important act, and the persons who presides in Congress 
shall answer it ingeneral terms. 

69. The ordinary sessions of Congress shall be daily 
without any other interruption than that of the days of 
solemn festival, and in order to adjourn for more than three 
days, the consent of both Houses shall be necessary. 

70. Both Houses shall reside in the same place, and 
cannot move to another, without first agreeing on the re- 
moval, the time and manner of effect iog it, designating 
the same point, tor the reunion of one and the other. But 
if they agree on a removal, and differ as to the time* 
mode, and place, the President of the Slates shall deter- 
mine the difference, electing one of those in question. 

71. The Congress shall close its sessions annually on the 
15th day of April, with the same formalities as arc pre- 
scribed for its opening, proroguing the session SO days. 
(Sundays and solemn festivals excepted) when they may 
deem it necessary, or when the President of the Federa- 
tion requires it. 

72. When the general Congress is assembled for extra- 
ordinary sessions, it shall be formed of the same Kepresen- 
talives and Senators as the ordinary sessions of that year, 
and shall occupy itself exclusively on the object or objects 
for which it was convened; but if these should not be com- 
pleted on the day in which the ordinary sessions are to 
commence, the extraordinary sessions shall cease, and the 
Subject pending shall be determined by Congress in said 
ordinary sessions. 

73. The resolution that the Congress lake relative to 
the removal, suspension, or prorogation of their sessions* 
agreeably to the three preceding Articles, shall be com- 
municated to the President, who shall cause them lobe 
executed without making any observations upon them* 


Title 4th. Section 1st. — Of the Supreme Executive Pow- 
er of the Nation. 

74. The supreme executive power of the Federation 
shall be deposited in one individual, who shall be styled 
President of the United Mexican Slates. 

75. There shall likewise be a Vice President, on 
whom will devolve the faculties and prerogatives of the 
President, in case of his physical or moral inability to 

76. To be President or Vice President, it is required 
to be a Mexican citizen by birth, thirty-five years of age 
at the time of the election, and to be a resident in the 

77. The President cannot be re-elected for this office, 
until after four years are passed from the time of his re- 

78. He that is elected President or Vice President of 
the Republic, shall accept these offices in preference to 
any others. 

79. The first day of September, anterior to the year in 
which the new President must enter on the exercise of his 
duties, the Legislatures of each State shall elect by an ab- 
solute majority of votes two individuals, one of which, at 
least, must not be a native of the States that elects. 

80. The voting concluded, the Legislature shall remit 
to the President of the Council of Government, a legal 
return of the election, in order that he may give it the 
course designated by the rules of the Council. 

81. The sixth of January afterwards, the said returns 
shall be read in presence of both houses united, provided 
those of three-fourths of the Legislatures of the States 
have been received. 

82. The reading of said returns concluded, the Sena- 
tors shall retire, and a committee appointed by the House 
of Representatives, and composed of one for each State 
of those that have Representatives present, shall revise 
them and render an account of the result. 

83. The House shall then proceed to class the elections 
and enumerate the votes. 

84 He who has an absolute majority of the votes of all 
the Legislatures shall be the President. 

85. If two should have said majority, he shall be Presi- 
dent who has the most votes, and the other the Vice Pres- 


ident. In case of a tie with said majority, the House of 
Representatives shall elect one of the two for President, 
and the other shall be Vice President. 

86. If no one should have the absolute majority of the 
votes of the Legislature, the House of Representatives 
shall elect the President and Vice President, choosing in 
each election, one of the two which had the greatest 
number of suffrages. 

87. When more than two individuals have a respective 
majority and equal number of votes, (he House shall choose 
from them the President or Vice President as the case 
may be. 

88. If one has received the respective majority, and 
two or more have an equal number of suffrages but great- 
er than the others, the House shall elect from those who 
have the greatest number of votes. 

89. If all have an equal number of votes, the House 
shall elect from among them all, the President and Vice 
President, doing the same when one has a number of suf- 
frages and the others an equal number. 

90. If there should be a tie upon the voting of the clas- 
sing of the elections made by the Legislatures, the votes 
shall be repeated once, and if it should result in a lie, 
shall decide it by lot. 

91. In the competitions between three or more that 
have an equal number of votes, the voting shall be direct- 
ed to the reduction of the competitors to two or one, in 
order that in the election he may contend with the other, 
that may have obtained a relative majority over all the oth- 

92. For a general rule in voting, relative to the elec- 
tion of President and Vice President, they shall not refer 
to lots before having made a second vote. 

93. The voting on classifications of elections made by 
the Legislatures, and on those made by the House of Re- 
presentatives for President and Vice President, shall be 
made by States, the representation of each one having a 
single vote, and in order that there may be a decision in 
the House, it must contain an absolute majority of the 

94. In order to deliberate on the objects contained in the 
foregoing Article, there must be united in the House more 
than the half of the total number of its members, and be 
present, Representatives from three-fourths of the States. 


Section 2d. — Duration of the office of President and Vice 

President, manner of filling the vacancies of both, and 

their oath. 

95. The President and Vice President of the Federa- 
tion shall enter upon the discharge of their duties on the 
first of April, and shall be replaced precisely on the same 
day every four years by a new constitutional election. 

96. If for any motive, the elections of President and 
Vice President are not made and published by the first of 
April when they ought lo take their seals, or those elect- 
ed should not immediately enter upon the discharge of 
their dulies, nevertheless, the former ones shall go out of 
office (he same day, and the supreme executive power 
shall be depqsited, provisionally, in a President, that shall 
be elected by the House of Representatives, voting by 

97. In case (he President should be indisposed, then 
the provisions in the preceding article shall have effect, 
and if both should be at t lie same time, and Congress not 
being in session, the Supreme Executive Power shall be 
deposited in the hands of the Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court, and two individuals that shall be elected by an 
absolute plurality of voles by the Council of Government; 
these are not to be members of the general Congress, 
and are to have the qualities requisite to be a President 
of the Federation. 

98. Until the elections are made to which the prece- 
ding Articles allude, the Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court shall be charged with the Supreme Executive Pow- 

99. In case of the perpetual inability of the President 
and Vice President to serve. Congress, or in its recess, 
the Council of Government, will respectively provide ac- 
cording to Articles 96 and 97, and so depose that the Le- 
gislatures proceed to the election of President and Vice 
President, according to the form prescribed by the Con- 

100. The elections of President and Vice President, 
made by the Legislatures in consequence of the perpetual 
inability of those to serve who had been elected forthese 
offices, shall not impede the ordinary elections the first 
of September every four years. 

101. The President and Vice President newijr elected, 


must be on the first day of April, in the place where the 
Supreme powers of the Federation reside, and before 
both Houses assembled, swear to observe the duties im- 
posed on them under the following form: 

"I, N— Elected President (or Vice President) of the 
United Mexican Stales, swear before God and the Holy 
Evangelists, that I will exercise faithfully, the charge the 
same U. S. have confided in me, and that I will keep, and 
cause to be Uept exactly, the Constitution and general 
laws of the Federation." 

102. If neither the President or Vice President pre- 
sent themselves to swear as the preceding Article pro- 
vides, and the session of Congress being open, they shall 
swear before the Council of Government as soon as each 
one presents himself. 

103. If the Vice President takes the oath prescribed 
in Article 101, before the President, he shall enter im- 
mediately on the dischaige of the duties of President until 
he shall have sworn. 

104. The President and Vice President constitutionally 
appointed according to Article 99, and those individuals 
provisionally appointed to exercise (he charge of Presi- 
dent, according to Article CG and 97, shall be sworn as 
prescribed in Article 101, before both Houses, if assem- 
bled, if not, before the Council of Government. 
Section 3d. — Of the prerogatives of the President and 

Vice President. 

105. The President has the power to lay before Con- 
gress such propositions or amendments of laws as he may 
deem conducive to the general good, directing them to 
the House of Representatives. 

106. The President has the power once in the space of 
ten days (Sundays and solemn festivals excepted) to make 
observations upon the laws and decrees passed to him by 
Congress, suspending their publication until the resolution 
of Congress, except in the cases mentioned in this Consti- 

107. The President, during the time of his administra- 
tion, cannot be accused, except before either of the 
Houses, and only in crimes alluded to in Article 38, com- 
mitted in the time therein expressed. 

108. Within one year from the day on which the Pres- 
ident ceases his functions, he, cannot be accused, except 


before one of the Houses for crimes alluded (o in Article 
38, or any others committed during the term of his admin- 
istration; after this he cannot he accused for those crimes. 

109. The Vice President, during the lour years of his 
administration. cannot be accused except before the House 
of Representatives, for whatever crime he commits du- 
ring the lime of his administration. 

Section 4lli.«- Attributions of the President and the re- 
strictions of the faculties. 

110. The attributions of the President are the follow- 
ing: — First, to publish, circulate, and cause to be kept, 
the laws and decrees of the general Congress. Second, 
to give rules and decrees, and orders for the belter obser- 
vance of the Constitution, constitutional act and general 
laws. Third, to put into execution the laws and decrees 
directed to preserve the integrity of the Federation, and 
to sustain its Independence in its exterior, logethe. with 
its union and liberty in its interior. Fourth, to name and 
remove freely. Secretaries of the departments. Fifth, to 
direct the collection of. and decree the inversion of gen- 
eral contributions agreeably to the laws. Sixth, to name 
the officers of the Treasury department, and those of the 
commissary generals, diplomatic ministers, and con- 
suls, colonels and other superior officers of the permanent 
army, active militia and navy, with the approbation of 
the Senate, and should it not be in session, with the coun- 
cil of the Government. Seventh, to name all other of- 
ficers of the permanent army, navy and act ive militia, 
and officers of the Federation, conformably to the laws. 
Eighth, to appoint, after previous recommendation from 
the Supreme Court, Judges and Attorney Generals of the 
Circuit and District. Ninth, to grant discharges, grant 
licenses, and regulate military pensions according to law. 
Tenth, to dispose of the permanent armed force by sea 
and land, and the active militia tor the security of the in- 
terior and defence of the exterior of the Federation, 
Eleventh, to dispose of the local militia for the same pur- 
poses, hut to lake them out of their respective States or 
Territories, it will require the previous consent of Con- 
gress, who will also designate the force necessary. Should 
Congress not be assembled, the consent of the Council 
of government will be necessary, and who will also desig- 
nate the number. Twelih, to declare war in the name of 


the United Mexican Slates, after a previous decree of 
Congress to that effect, and to grant commissions to Priva- 
teers in conformity with the laws. Thirteenth, to cele- 
brate covenants with the Apostolic Chair, as designated in 
clause 12th of ArticleSO. Fourteenth, to direct diploma- 
tic negocialions, and to celebrate treaties of peace, amity, 
alliance, truce, federation, armed neutrality, commerce, 
and ail others, hie 1 to give or deny the ratification, of any of 
them, requires the approbation of the general Congress. 
Fifteenth, to receive ministers and other envoys from for- 
eign nations. Sixteenth, to request Congress to prorogue 
their sessions for thirty days (Sundays, &c. excepted.) 
Seventeenth, to assemble Congress for extraordinary ses- 
sions, as he may deem the case necessary, by the consent 
of two-thirds of the Council of Government present. 
Eighteenth, also assemble an extraordinary session of 
Congress, when the Council of Government shall deem it 
necessary, and the votes of two-thirds of the members 
present, is given to that effect. Nineteenth, to see that 
justice is promptly and impartially administered by the 
Supreme Courts, Tribunals, and infeiior courts of the 
Federation, and that their sentences be executed accord- 
ing to law. Twentieth to suspend from their employ- 
ments, for the space of three months, and deprive one half 
of their pay for the same time, all officers belonging to the 
Federation, violators of its orders and decrees; and should 
there be cause for a prosecution against such officers, he 
shall place the subject before its proper tribunal. Twen- 
ty-first, to grant the passage, or retain the decrees of the 
Ecclesiastical Councils, Pontifical Bulls, Briefs and Re- 
scripts, with the consent of the general Congress, if they 
contain general dispositions to be laid before the Senate, 
or in its recesss, before ihe Council of Government, if 
containing governmental business, and before the Supreme 
Court of Justice, if it is a subject of liligat ion. 

111. The President, in publishing law-s and decrees, 
shall use the following form: "The President of the Unit- 
ed Mexican States, to the inhabitants of the Republic, 
Know, that the general Congress have decreed the follow- 
ing: (here the subject) Therefore, I command that it be 
printed, published, and circulated, and that due compli- 
ance be given it." 

112. The restrictions of the faculties of the President 
are the following: — First, the President cannot take com- 
mand of the forces by sea or land in person, without the 


previous consent of the general Congress, or should it not 
be in session, without the Council of Government, by a 
vote of two-thirds of the members presenl. When he 
takes the command with these requisites, the Vice Presi- 
dent shall administer the Government. Second, the Pres- 
ident has not the right to deprive any one of his liberty 
nor inflict punishment on any individual but when the 
safety of the Federation requires it, he can arrest any 
person provided he places the person, arrested, within 48 
hours, at the disposition of the competent judge or tri- 
bunal. Third, the President cannot occupy the property 
of any individual or corporation, or disturb the possession, 
use, or benefit of it; and should it be necessary for the pub- 
lic good, to take the property of any individual or corpo- 
ration, it will require the approbation of t he Senate, or 
in its recess, the approbation of the council of govern- 
ment, indemnifying the party interested, by the decision 
of men chosen by the party and the government. Fourth, 
the President cannot impede the elections arid other acts 
expressed in the last clause of the 28th Article. Fifth, 
the President or Vice President, cannot leave the Terri- 
tory of the Republic without the consent of Congress, du- 
ring the discharge of their duties and for one year after 
they retire from office. 

Section 5th. — Of the Council of Government. 

113. During the recess of Congress there shall be a 
council of Government, composed of one half of the mem- 
bers of the Senate, one for each State. 

114. For the first two years, this Council of Govern- 
ment shall be composed of the first members elected by 
their respective Legislaturas, and the succeeding year by 
the oldest members. 

115. This Council shall have for President, the Vice 
President of the United Slates, and also have the power 
to elect a President pro-tern, to fill the vacancy occasion- 
ed by the absence of the othen. 

116. The attributions of this Council are the follow- 
ing: — First, to see that the Constitution is strictly observ- 
ed, and the constitutional act, and general laws, and to 
give their advice in any incident relative to these objects. 
Second, to lay before the President any observations con- 
ducive for the better compliance of the Constitution and 
laws of the Union. Third, to determine of themselves 


only, the advice of the President, the calling; of extraor» 
dinary sessions of Congress; but in either, it shall require 
the vote of two-thirds of the counsellors present, as stated 
in attributions 17 and 18, of Article 110. Fourth, to 
grant their consent to the calling out of the local militia, 
in the manner stated in Article 110, attribution 11. Fifth, 
to approve the appointment of officers designated in at* 
tribuiion 6, of Article 110. Sixth, to give their consent 
in the case referred to in Article 112, restriction first. 
Seventh, to name two individuals who shall, in conjunction 
with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, provisionally 
exercise the Supreme executive Power, as prescribed in 
Article 97. Kiglith, to administer the oath stated it) Ar- 
ticle 101, to those individuals of the Supreme executive 
Power, in the terms provided in this Constitution. Ninth, 
to give their opinion on subjects referred to them by the 
President, by virtue of the 2lst faculty of Article 110, and 
all business wherein he may consult them. 
Section 6th. — Of the despatch of Government business. 

117. For a despatch of government business of the Re- 
public there shall be the number of Secretaries of State, 
which Congress by a law may establish. 

118. All the regulations, decrees, and orders of the Pre- 
sident, must be signed by the Secretary of State of the 
department to which the subject belongs, and without this 
pre-requisite they shall not be obeyed. 

119. The Secretaries of State shall be responsible for 
the acts of the President, unauthorized hy their signa- 
tures, contrary to the Constitution, Constitutional Act, 
and general laws and constitutions of the States. 

120. The Secretaries of State shall give to each House, 
as soon as their annual sessions are opened, an account of 
the state of their respective departments. 

121. To be a Secretary of Slate it is necessary to be a 
Mexican citizen by birth. 

122. The Secretaries of State fhall form a regulation 
for the better distribution and direction of their duties, 
which shall he passed by the Government to the Congress 
for their approbation. 

Tittle 5ih. Section 1st.— Of the Judicial power of tf le 

123. The Judicial Power of the Federation shall reside 
in one Supremo Court of Justice, and in the Circuit and 
District Courts. 


Section 2d.— Of the Supreme Court of Justice, the elec- 
tion, term of service, and oath of its members. 

124. The Supreme Court of Justice shall be composed 
of eleven members divided into three halls, and one At- 
torney General. Congress may augment or diminish its 
number as they deem it necessary. 

125. To be elected a Judge of the Supreme Court of 
Justice, it is necessary to have been instructed in the sci- 
ence of public rights, according to the judgments of the 
Legislatures of the States, to be 35 years of age, to be a 
native born citizen of the Republic, or born in any part 
of America, which in J1810, was dependent on Spain, and 
has separated from her, provided they have been five years 
resident within the territory of the Republic. 

126. The Judges of the Supreme Court of Justice shall 
hold their offices during good behaviour, and can only be 
removed in the mode prescribed by the laws. 

127. The election of the Judges of the Supreme Court 
of Justice shall be made on the same day by the Legisla- 
tures of the States, by an absolute majority of votes. 

128. The elections concluded, each Legislature shall 
remit to the Council of Government a certified list of 
the twelve persons elected, designating which one of them 
was elected the Attorney General. 

129. The President of the Council, as soon as he shall 
have received the lists from at least three-fourths of the 
Legislatures of the Stales, shall give them direction indi- 
cated by the rules of the Council. 

130. On the day designated, the Congress shall open 
and read the said lists in presence of both Houses united, 
after which the Senate shall retire. 

131. In continuation, the House of Representatives 
shall appoint by an absolute majority of votes, a commit- 
tee, which shall be composed of one member from each 
State, from which there was any member present, to which 
committee the said lists shall be passed, who will revise 
and examine them, and render an account of the result; 
and the House shall then proceed to class the election and 
count the votes. 

132. The individual or individuals who may have re- 
ceived more than half the votes of the whole number of 
the Legislatures, without regard to the number of votes 
given by their respective members, shall be considered 



elected; and the declaration of the House to that effect 
shall immediately entitle them to their seats. 

133. Should those who may have received the necessa- 
ry majority of votes agreeably to the last article, not a- 
mount to 12, tho House shall elect the balance from those 
who had the highest number of votes before the Legisla- 
tures, observing in every thing relative to these elections 
the provisions of the first section of the 4th title, which 
treats of the election of President and Vice President. 

KM. Should a Senator or Representative be elected a 
Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice, his election to 
that office shall be preferred over the other. 

135. When a vacancy occurs in a Supreme Court of 
Justice by perpetual inability, it shall be filled agreeably 
to this section, after a previous notification given by the 
Governor to the Legislature of the state, of said vacancy. 

136. The members of the Supreme Court of Justice on 
entering upon the exercise of the office shall take an oath 
in the presence of the President of the Republic, in the 
following form: "You swear to God our Lord, faithfully 
to discharge the duties and obligations confided to you by 
the nation — if you do this God will reward you, if other- 
wise he will punish you." 

Section 3d. — Of the attributions of the Supreme Court of 

137. The attributions of the Supreme Court are the 
following-— First, to take cognizance of the difference 
which may arise between one and another state of the 
Federation, whenever it embraces a subject of litigation 
in which there must be a formal sentence, and those that 
arise between one state and one or more inhabitants of 
another, or between individuals about pretensions to lands 
under concession from slates, without depriving the party 
of the right of reclaiming the concession from the author- 
ity which granted it. Second, to terminate all disputes 
which arise, or contracts or negotiations made by the Su- 
preme Government or its agents. Third, consult relative 
to publishing or retaining of Pontificial Bulls, Briefs, and 
Rescripts issued in matters litigant. Fourth, adjust any 
dispute that may exist among the tribunals of the Feder- 
ation, and between these and those of the states, and those 
which may arise between the tribunals of one state and 
those of another. Fifth, to take connoisance; — First, of 


the prosecutions moved against the President and Vice 
President according to articles 38 and 39, after the pre- 
vious declaration in article 40. Second, of the criminal 
prosecutions of the Representatives and Senators, indi- 
cated in article 43, after the previous declaration requir- 
ed in article 44. Third, of those against Governors of 
the states in the cases spoken of in article 38, in its third 
part, after the previous declaration required in article 40. 
Fourth, of those of Secretaries of State in conformity 
with articles 38 and 40. Fifth, of the civil and criminal 
affairs of the Diplomatic Ministers and Consuls of the 
Republic. Sixth, of the Admiralty cases, captures by 
sea, land, and contraband, of crimes committed on the 
high sea, of the offences against the United Mexican States, 
of those employed in the Treasury and Judiciary of the 
Federation, and of the infractions of the Constitution 
and general laws, as may be provided for by law. 

138. A law shall regulate the mode and grade by which 
the Supreme Court of Justice shall take cognizance of 
the cases comprehended in this section. 

Section 4th. — Of the mode, of judging the members of the 
Supreme Court. 

139. In order to Judge the members of the Supreme 
Court, the House of Representatives shall elect, voting, 
by States, in the first month of the ordinary sessions of 
each biennial, twenty-four individuals not appertaining to 
the general Congress, and who shall possess the qualifica- 
tions required for Judges of the Supreme Court, from 
these there shall be elected by lot an Attorney General, 
and an equal number of Judges equal to that which com- 
poses the first Hall of the Court, and whenever it may be 
necessary the same House shall proceed, and in its recess, 
the Council of Government, to draw in the same manner 
Judges of the other Halls. 

Section 5th.— Of the Circuit Courts. 

140. The Circuit Court shall be composed of a Judge 
of the law and a prosecuting Attorney, both appointed 
by the Supreme Executive Power, proposed by the Su- 
preme Court, and two Associate Judges, as the law may 

141. In order to be a Circuit Judge it is necessary to 
be a citizen of the Federation, and thirty years of age. 

142. To these Tribunals, corresponds the cognizance of 


admiralty cases, captures by sea and land, contraband, 
crimes committed on the high sea, offences against the 
United Mexican States, cases of consuls, and civil cases 
whose value exceeds $500, and in which the Federation 
are interested. By a law shall be designated the number 
of these Tribunals, their respective jurisdictions, the 
mode, form, and grade, in which they must exercise their 
powers in these and other matters which come under the 
cognizance of the Supreme Court of Justice. 

Section 6th. — Of the. District Courts. 

143. The United Mexican Stales shall be divided into 
a certain number of districts, and in each one of which, 
there shall be a tribunal presided by a judge of the law, 
which shall take cognizance without appeal, of all civil 
cases in which the Federation is interested, the amount 
of which does not exceed $500, and shall have original 
jurisdiction in all cases in which the Circuit Courts have 
appellate jurisdiction. 

144. In order to be a District Judge, it is necessary to 
be a citizen of the United Mexican States, and twenty- 
five years of age. The Judges shall be appointed by the 
President, proposed by the Supreme Court. 

Section 7th. — General Rules to which all the States and 
Territories in the Federation shall conform in the 
administration of Justice. 
145* In each one of the States of the Federation, full 
faith and credit shall be given to the acts, registers, and 
proceedings of the judges and other authorities of the oth- 
er States. The general Congress shall regulate the laws 
by which said acts, registers, and proceedings shall be 

146. The sentence of infamy shall not extend beyond 
the criminal that may have merited it according to law. 

147. There is forever prohibited the penalty of confis- 
cation of estates. 

148. There is forever prohibited all judgments by com- 
mission and all retro-active laws. 

149. No authority shall apply any species of torture, 
whatever may be the nature or state of the prosecution. 

150. No one shall be imprisoned, unless there is a rea- 
sonable ground to suppose him criminal. 

151. No one shall be imprisoned on suspicion more than 
seventy hours. 


152. No authority shall give an order for the search of 
any houses, papers, and other effects of the inhabitants of 
the Republic, except in the cases expressly provided 
for by law, and in the form which it designates. 

153. No inhabitant of the Republic shall be compelled 
to take an oath relative to his own acts in criminal affairs. 

154. The military and ecclesiastics will remain sub- 
ject to the authority under which they actually are, ac- 
cording to the existing laws. 

155. No suit can be instituted, neither in civil or crim- 
inal cases, for injuries, without being able to prove, hav- 
ing legally attempted, the means of conciliation. 

156. None can be deprived of the right of terminating 
his differences by means of arbitrators appointed by each 
party, whatever may be the situation of the controversy. 
Title 6th. Section 1st. — Of the individual government 

of the States. 

157. The government of each Slate shall be divided 
for its exercise in three powers, Legislative, Executive, 
and Judicial, and never can be united two or more of 
these in one corporation or person, nor the Legislature 
deposited in one individual. 

J58. The legislative power of each State shall reside 
in one Legislature, composed of the number of individ- 
uals which their respective constitutions may determine, 
to be elected popularly and removable, in the time and 
manner which said constitutions may designate. 

159. The person or persons in whom the States confide 
their executive power, cannot exercise it except for a 
definite time, which shall bo fixed by their respective con- 

160. The Judicial power of each State shall be exercis- 
ed by the Tribunals that the Constitution may establish 
ordesignate, and ail cases, civil or criminal, which apper- 
tain to the coguizance of those tribunals, shall be termin- 
ated in them to final judgment and execution. 

Section 2d. — Of the obligations of the States. 

161. Each'one of the States is obliged — First, to organ 
ize its interior government and administration, without 
opposing this Constitution nor the constitutional act. Se- 
cond, to publish, by means of their Governors, their res- 
pective Constitutions, laws, and decrees. Third, to obey, 



and cause to be obeyed, the constitution and general 
laws of the Union, and treaties made, and those that 
henceforward may be made, by the supreme authority of 
the Federation with any foreign power. Fourth, to pro- 
tect its inhabitants in the free use and liberty which they 
have to write, print, and publish their political ideas, with- 
out the necessity of licence, revision, or approbation pre- 
vious to publication, always taking care to observe the 
general laws on the subject. Fifth, to deliver immediate- 
ly, the criminals of other states, to the authority which 
reclaims them. Sixth, to deliver the fugitives of other 
states, to the person that justly reclaims them, or compel 
them in some other mode to satisfy the interested party. 
►Seventh, to contribute for the consolidation and extin- 
guishment of the debts acknowledged by the general Con- 
gress. Eighth, to remit annually to each one of the 
Houses of Congress, a general, circumstantial, and com- 
prehensive note, of the ingress and egress in all the Treas- 
uries they may have in their respective districts, with a 
relation of the origin of one and the other, of the situa- 
tion in which are found the branches of industry, agricul- 
ture, commerce, and manufactures, of the new branches 
of industry which they can introduce and extend, desig- 
nating the means by which it can be obtained, and of their 
respective population and means of protecting and aug- 
menting it. Ninth, to remit to both Houses, and in their 
recess, to the Council of Government, and likewise to the 
Supreme Executive Power, authorized copies of the Con- 
stitutions, laws, and decrees. 

Section 3d. — Restrictions of the Powers of the Slate, 
162. None of the Stales can — First, establish, without 
the consent of the general Congress, any tonnage duty, nor 
other post duty. Second, impose, without the consent of 
the general Congress, contributions or duties on importa- 
tions or exportations, whilst the law does not regulate it 
as it must do. Third, hold, at no time, a permanent 
troop nor vessel of war, without the consent of the gener- 
al Congress. Fourth, enter into any agreement or com- 
pact with any foreign power, nor declare war against 
them, resisting in case of actual invasion, or in such dan- 
ger as will not admit of delay, giving immediate notice 
thereof to the President of the Republic. Fifth, enter 
into an agreement or compact with other States of the 


Federation, without the previous consent of the general 
Congress or its posterior approbation, if the transaction 
was upon the regulation of limits. 

Title 7th. Only Section. — Of the observance, inter- 
pretation, and amendment of the Constitution and 
Constitutional JLct. 

163. Every public functionary, without exception to 
the class, previous to entering on the discharge of his du- 
ties, must take the oath to obey the Constitution and Con- 
stitutional Act. 

164. The Congress shall dictate all laws and decrees, 
which they may deem necessary to render effective, the 
responsibility of those who violate this Constitution or 
the Constitutional Act. 

165. The general Congress alone can resolve doubts, 
which may occur about the meaning or understanding of 
the Articles of this Constitution and of the Constitutional 

166. The Legislatures of the States can make such ob- 
servations as ttiey may deem proper about particular Ar- 
ticles of this Constitution and the Constitutional Act, but 
the general Congress will not take them into consideral 
tion until the year 1830. 

167. The Congress in that year shall confiue itself to 
examining the observations that merit the deliberation of 
the next Congress, and this declaration they shall commu- 
nicate to the President, who shall publish and circulate 
them without any observations. 

168. The following Congress in the first year of its or- 
dinary sessions, shall occupy themselves in examining these 
observations submitted to their deliberation, in order to 
make such amendments as may be .deemed necessary, but 
the same Congress which makes the examination, pro- 
vided in the last Article, cannot decree the amendments. 

169. The amendments and additions that are proposed 
in the year following, the 30th shall be taken into consid- 
eration by the Congress, in the second year of each bien- 
nial, and if rendered necessary, in conformity wih the 
provisions made in the preceding Article, they shal pub- 
lish this resolution, in order that the next Congress may 
notice them. 

170. In order to reform or amend this Constitution or 
the Constitutional Act, shall be observed, besides the rules 
prescribed in the foregoing Articles, all the requisites pro- 


vided for the formation of laws, excepting the right to 
make observations granted to the President, in Article 

171. The Articles of this Constitution and the Consti- 
tutional Act which establishes the Liberty and Indepen- 
dence of the Mexican Nation, its Religion, form of Gov- 
ernment, Liberty of the Press, and division of the Su- 
preme Powers of the Federation, and of the States, can 
never be reformed. 

Given in Mexico, 4th October, 1824, fourth year of In- 
dependence, third of Liberty, and second of the Feder- 

Signed by the members of Congress, and the Supreme 
Executive Power. 




We, the People of Texas, in order to form a Govern- 
ment, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, pro- 
vide for the common defence and general welfare, and to 
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our pos- 
terity, do ordain and establish this Constitution. 
Article 1. 

Section 1. The powers of this Government shall be 
divided into three departments, viz: Legislative, Execu- 
tive, and Judicial, which shall remain forever separate 
and distinct. 

Sec. 2. The Legislative power shall be vested in a Sen- 
ate and House of Representatives, to be styled The Con- 
gress of the Republic of Texas. 

Sec. 3. The members of the House of Representatives 
shall be chosen annually on the first Monday of Septem- 
ber each year, until Congress shall otherwise provide by 
law, and shall hold their offices one year from the date of 
their election. 

Sec 4. No person shall be eligible to a seat in the House 
of Representatives until he shall have attained the age 
of twenty-five years, shall be a citizen of the Republic, 
and shall have resided in the county or district six months 
next preceding his election. 

Sec 5. The House of Representatives shall not consist 
of less than twenty-four, nor more than forty members, 
until the population shall amount to one hundred thousand 
souls, after which time the whole number of Representa- 
tives shall not be less than forty, nor more than one hun- 
dred: provided, however, that each county shall be enti- 
tled to at least one Representative. 

Sec 6. The House of Representatives shall chose their 
speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power 
of impeachment, 


Sec. 7. The Senators shall be chosen by districts, as 
nearly equal in free population (free negroes and Indians 
excepted) as practicable, and the number of Senators 
shall never be less than one-third nor more than one-half 
the number of Representatives, and each district shall be 
entitled to one member and no more. 

Sec. 8. The Senators shall be chosen for the term of 
three years, on the first Monday in September, shall be 
citizens of the Republic, reside in the district for which 
they are respectively chosen at least one year before the 
election, and shall have attained the age of thirty years. 

Sec 9. At the first session of the Congress after the 
adoption of this Constitution, the Senators shall be divided 
by lot into three classes, as nearly equal as practicable; 
the seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at 
the end of the first year, of the second class at the end 
of the second year, the third class at the end of the third 
year, in such manner that one-third shall be chosen each 
year thereafter. 

Sec 10. The Vice President of the Republic shall be 
President of the Senate, but shall not vote on any ques- 
tion, unless the Senate be equally divided. 

Sec 11. The Senate shall choose all other officers of 
their body, and a President pro tempore, in the absence 
of the Vice President, or whenever he shall exercise the 
office of President, shall have the sole power to try im- 
peachments, and when sitting as a court of impeachment, 
shall be under oath; but no conviction shall take place 
without the concurrence of two-thirds of all Hie members 

Sec 12. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall only 
extend to removal from office, and disqualification to hold 
any office of honor, trust, or profit under this government, 
but the party shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, 
trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law. 

Sec 13. Each House shall be thejudge of the elections, 
qualifications, and returns of its own members. Two- 
thirds of each House shall constitute a quorum to do bus- 
iness, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, 
and may compel the attendance of absent members. 

Sec 14. Each House may determine the rules of its 
own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly be- 
haviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, may 
expel a member, but not a second time for the same of- 


Sfec. 15. Senators and Representatives shall receive a 
compensation for their services, to be fixed by law, but 
bo increase of compensation, or diminution, shall take 
effect during the session at which such increase ordiminu- 
tion shall have been made. They shall, except in cases of 
treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from 
arrest during the session of Congress, and in going to and 
returning from the same, and for any speech or debate in 
either House, they shall not be questioned in auy other 

Sec. 16. Each House may punish, by imprisonment, 
during the session, any person not a member, who shall 
be guilty of any disrespect to the House, by any disorder- 
ly conduct in their presence. 

Sec. 17. Each House shall keep a journal of its pro- 
ceedings, and publish the same, except such parts as, in 
its judgment, require secrecy. When any three members 
shall desire the yeas and nays on any question, they shall 
be entered on the journals. 

Sec. 18. Neither House, without the consent of the 
other, shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any 
other place than that in which the two Houses may be sit- 

Sec 19. When vacancies happen in either House, the 
Executive shall issue writs ot election to fill such vacan- 

Sec 20. No bill shall become a law until it shall have 
been read on three several days in each House, and pass- 
ed by the same, unless, incases of emergency, two-thirds 
of the members of the House where the bill originated 
shall deem it expedient to dispense with the rule. 

Sec. 21. Afier a bill shall have been rejected, no bill 
containing the same substance shall be passed into a law 
during the same session. 

Sec 22. The style of the laws of the Republic shall be, 
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives of the Republic of Texas in Congress assembled." 
Sec 23. No person holding an office of profit under the 
Government shall be eligible to a seat in either House of 
Congress, nor shall any member of either House be eli- 
gible to any office which shall be created, or the profits of 
which shall be increased during his term of service. 

Sec 24. No holder of public moneys, or collector 
thereof, shall be eligible to a seat in either House of 


Congress, until he shall have fully acquitted himself of alt 
responsibility, and shall produce the proper officer's re- 
ceipt thereof. Members of either House may protest 
against any act or resolution, and may have such protest 
entered on the journals of their respective Houses. 

Sec 25. No money shall be drawn from the public 
treasury but in strict accordance with appropriations made 
by law; and no appropriation shall be made for private 
or local purposes, unless two-thirds of each House concur 
in such appropriations. 

Sec. 26. Every act of Congress shall be approved and 
signed by the President before it becomes a law; but if 
the President will not approve and sign such act, he shall 
return it to the House in which it shall have originated, 
with his reasons for not approving the same, which shall 
be spread upon the journals of such House, and the bill 
shall then be reconsidered, and shall not become a law 
unless it shall then pass by a vote of two-thirds of both 
Houses. If any act shall be disapproved by Ihe President, 
the vote on the reconsideration shall be recorded by ayes 
and noes. If the President shall fail to return a bill 
within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have 
been presented for his approval and signature, the same 
shall become a law, unless the Congress prevents its re- 
turn within the time above specified by adjournment. 

Sec. 27. All bills, acts, orders, or resolutions, to which 
the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary, (mo- 
tions or resolutions for adjournment excepted,) shall be 
approved and signed by the President, or being disapprov- 
ed, shall be passed by two thirds of both Houses, in manner 
and form as specified in section twenty. 
Sec. 1. Congress shall have power to levy and collect 
taxes and imposts, excise and tonnage duties, to borrow 
money on the faith, credit, and propeity of the Govern- 
ment, to pay the debts, and to provide for the common 
defence and general welfare of the Republic. 

Sec. 2. To regulate commerce, to coin money, to regu- 
late the value thereof and of foreign coin, to fix the stand- 
ard of weights and measures; but nothing but gold and 
silver shall be made a lawful tender. 

Sec 3. To establish post offices and post roads, to grant 
characters of incorporation, patents, and copy rights, and 
secure to the authors and inventors the exclusive use 
thereof for a limited time. 



Sec. 4. To declare war, grant letters of marque and 
reprisal, and to regulate captures. 

Sec. 5. To provide and maintain an army and navy, 
and to make all laws and regulations necessary for their 

Sec. 6. To call out the militia to execute the law, to 
suppress insurrection, and repel invasion. 

Sec. 7. To make all laws which shall be deemed neces- 
sary and proper to carry into effect the foregoing express 
grants of power, and all other powers vested in the Gov- 
ernment of the Republic or in any officer or department 

Article III . 
Sec. 1. The Executive authority of this Government 
shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled 
The President of the Republic of Texas. 

Sec. 2. The first President elected by the People shall 
hold his office for the term of two year6, and shall be inel- 
igible during the next succeeding term; and all subsequent 
Presidents shall be elected for three years, and be alike 
ineligible; and in the event of a tie, the House of Repre- 
sentatives shall determine between the two highest can- 
didates by a viva voce vote. 

Sec 3. The returns of the elections for President and 
Vice President shall be sealed up and transmitted to the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, by the holders 
of elections of each county; and theSpeaker of the House 
of Representatives shall open and publish the returns, in 
presence of a majority of each House of Congress. 
Article IV. 
Sec. 1. The Judicial powers of the Government shall 
be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior 
court as the Congress may from time to time ordain and 
establish. The judges of the supreme and inferior courts 
shall hold their offices for four years, be eligible to re-elec- 
tion, and shall, at stated periods, receive for theirservices 
a compensation not to be increased or diminished during 
the period for which they were elected. 

Sec 2. The Republic of Texas shall be divided into 
convenient judicial districts, not less than three, nor more 
than eight. There shall be appointed for each district, a 
judge, who shall reside in the same, and hold the courts at 
such times and places as Congress may by law direct. 


Sec. 3. In all admiralty and maritimo cases, in all 
cases affecting ambassadors, public ministers, or consuls, 
and in all capital cases, the district courts shall have ex- 
clusive original jurisdiction, and original jurisdiction in 
all civil cases when the matter in controversy amounts to 
une hundred dollars. 

Sec. 4. The judges, by virtue of their offices, shall be 
conservators of the peace, throughout the Republic. The 
style of all process shall be, The Republic of Texas; and 
all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by 
the authority of (he same, and conclude, Against the 
peace and dignity of the Republic. 

Sec. 5. There shall be a district attorney appointed for 
each districti whose duties, salaries, perquisites, and 
terms of service shall be fixed by law. 

Sec. 6. The clerks of the district courts shall be elect- 
ed by the qualified voters for members of Congress in the 
counties where the courts are established, and shall hold 
their offices for four years, subject to removal by present- 
ment of a grand jury, and conviction of a petit jury. 

Sec. 7. The Supreme Court shall consist of a chief 
justice and associate judges; the district judges shall corn- 
pose (he associate judges, a majority of whom, with the 
chief justice, shall constitute a quorum. 

Sec. 8. The Supreme Court shall have appellate juris- 
diction only, which shall be conclusive, within (he limits 
of the Republic; and shall hold its sessions annually, at 
such times and places as may be fixed by law; provided 
that no judge shall sit in a case in the Supreme Court 
tried by him in the court below. 

Sec. 9. The judges of the supreme and district courts 
shall be elected by joint ballot of both Houses of Con- 

Sec 10. There shall be, in each county, a county court 
and such justices' courts as the Congress may from time 
to lime establish. 

Sec 11. The Republicshall be divided into convenient 
counties; but no new county shall be established, unless 
it be done on the petition of one hundred free male inhab- 
itants of the territory sought to be laid off and establish- 
ed, and unless the said territory shall contain nine hun- 
dred square miles. 

Seo. 12. There shall be appointed, for each county, a 
convenient number of justices of the peace, one sheriff, 
one coroner, and a sufficient number of constables, who 


shall hold their offices for two years, to be elected by the . 
qualified voters of the district or county, as Congress may 
direct. Justices of the peace and sheriffs shall be commis- 
sioned by the President. 

Sec. 13. The Congress shall, as early as practicable, 
introduce, by statute, the common law of England, with 
such modifications as our circumstances, in their judgment 
may require, and in all criminal cases the common law 
shall be the rule of decision. 

Article V. 
Sec. 1. Ministers of the gospel being, by their profes- 
sion, dedicated to God and the care of souls, ought not to 
be diverted from the great duties of their functions, 
therefore, no minister of the gospel or priest of any de- 
nomination whatever shall be eligible to the office of the 
Executive of the Republic, nor to a seat of either branch 
of the Congress of the same. 

Sec 2. Each member of the Senate and House of Re- 
presentatives shall, before they proceed to business, take 
an oath to support the Constitution, as follows: 

I, A 13, do solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be,] 
that, as a member of this General Congress, I will support 
the Constitution of the Republic, and that I will not pro- 
pose or assent to any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall 
appear to me injurious to the People. 

Sec 3. Every person who shall be chosen or appointed 
to any office of trust or profit shall, before entering on 
the duties thereof, take an oath to support the Constitution 
of the Republic, and also an oath of office. 
Article VI. 
Sec. 1. No person shall be eligible to the office of Pres- 
ident who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five 
years, shall be a citizen of the Republic at the time of the 
adoption of this Constitution, or an inhabitant of this Re- 
public at least three years immediately preceding his 

Sec 2. The President shall enter on the duties of his 
office on the second Monday in December next succeed- 
ing his election, and shall remain in office until his suc- 
cessor shall be duly qualified. 

Sec 3. The President shall, at stated times, receive a 
compensation for his services, which shall not be increas- 
ed or diminished during his continuance in office; and 


before entering upon the duties of his office, he shall lake* 
and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: I, A B„ 
President of the Republic of Texas, do solemnly and sin- 
cerely swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that I will 
faithfully execute the dtities of my office, and to the best 
of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend the Consti- 
tution of the Republic. 

Sec 4. He shall be eommander-in-chref of the army 
and navy of the Republic, and the militia thereof, but he 
shall not command in person without the authority of a 
resolution of Congress. He shall have power to remit 
fines and forfeitures, to grant reprieves and pardons, ex- 
cept in cases of impeachment. 

Sec. 5. He shall with the advice and consent of two 
thirds of the Senate, make treaties; and with the consent 
of the Senate, appoint ministers and consuls, and all offi- 
cers whose offices are established by this Constitution, not 
herein otherwise provided for. 

Sec 6. The President shall have power to fill all vacan- 
cies that may happen during the recess of the Senate; but 
he shall report the same to the Senate within ten days 
after the next Congress shall convene; and should the 
Senate reject the same, the President shall not re-nomi- 
nate the same individual to the same office. 

Sec 7. He shall from time to time give Congress infor- 
mation of the state of the Republic, and recommend for 
their consideration such measures as he may deem neces- 
sary. He may, upon extraordinary occasions, convene 
both Houses, or either of them. In the event of a disa- 
greement as to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn 
them to such time as he may think proper. He shall re- 
ceive all foreign ministers. He shall see that the laws be 
faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers 
of the Republic 

Sec 8. There shall be a seal of the Republic, which 
shall be kept by the President, and used by him officially; 
it shall be called the great seal of the Republic of Texas. 

Sec 9. All grants and commissions shall be in the name 
and by the authority of (he Republic of Texas, shall be seal- 
ed with the great seal, and signed by the President. 

Sec 10. The President shall have power, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint a Secre- 
tary of State and such other heads of Executive depart- 
ments as may be established by law, who shall remain in 


office during the term of service of the President, unless 
sooner removed by the President, with the advice and 
consent of the Senate. 

Sec. 11. Every citizen of the Republic who has at- 
tained the age of twenty-one years, and shall have resid- 
ed six months within the district or county where the 
election is held, shall be entitled to vote for members of 
the General Congress. 

Sec. 12. All elections shall be by ballot, unless Con- 
gress shall otherwise direct. 

Sec. 13. All elections by joint vote of both Houses of 
Congress shall be viva voce, shall be entered on the jour- 
nals, and a majority of all the votes shall be necessary to a 

Sec. 14. A Vice President shall be chosen at every 
election for President, in the same manner, continue in 
office for the same time, and shall possess the same quali- 
ficationsof the President. In voting for President and 
Vice President, the electors shall distinguish for whom 
they vote as President, and for whom as Vice President. 

Sec 15. In cases of impeachment, removal from office, 
death, resignation, or absence of the President from the 
Republic, the Vice President shall exercise the powers 
and discharge the duties of the President until a succes- 
sor be duly qualified, or until the President who may be 
absentor impeached, shall return or be acquitted. 

Sec. 16. The President, Vice President, and all civil 
officers of the Republic, shall be removable from office by 
impeachment for, and on conviction of, treason, bribery, 
and other high crimes and misdemeanors. 


Sec; 1. That no inconvenience may arise from the adop- 
tion of this Constitution, it is declared by this Convention 
that all laws now in force in Texas, and not inconsistent 
with this Constitution, shall remain in full force until de- 
clared void, repealed, altered, or expire by their own 

Sec. 2. All fines, penalties, and forfeitures, and es- 
cheats, which have heretofore accrued to Coahuila and 
Texas, or Texas, shall accrue to this Republic. 

Sec. 3. Every male citizen who is, by this Constitution, 
a citizen, and shall be otherwise qualified, shall be enti- 
tled to bold any uffice or place of honor, trust, or profit, 



under (he Republic, any thing in this Constitution to the 
contrary notwithstanding". 

Sec. 4. The first President and Vice President that 
shall be appointed after the adoption of this Constitution 
shall be chosen by this Convention, and shall immediately 
enter on the duties of their offices, and shall hold said 
offices until their successors be elected and qualified, as 
prescribed in this Constitution, and shall have the same 
qualifications, be invested with the same powers, and per- 
form the same duties which are required and conferred on 
the Executive head of the Republic by this Constitution. 
Sec 5, The President shall issue writs of election di- 
rected to the officers authorized to hold elections of the 
several counties, requiring- them to cause an election to 
be held for President, Vice President, Representatives 
and Senators to Congress, at the time and mode prescrib- 
ed by this Constitution, which election shall be conducted 
in the manner that elections have been heretofore con- 
ducted. The President, Vice President , and members of 
Congress, when duly elected, shall continue to discharge 
the duties of their respective offices for the time and man- 
ner prescribed by this Constitution, until their successors 
be dtily qualified. 

Sec 6. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as di- 
rected by this Constitution, the precinct of Austin shall 
be entitled to one represensalive; the precinct of Brazo- 
ria two representatives; the precinct of Bexar two repre- 
sentatives; the precinct of Colorado one representative; 
Sabine one; Gonzales one; Goliad one; Harrisburg one; 
Jasper one; Jefferson one; Liberty one; Matagorda one; 
Mina two; Nacogdoches two; Red river three; Victoria 
one; San Augustine two; Shelby two, Refugio one, San 
Patricio one; Washington two; Milam one; and Jackson 
one representative 

Sec. 7. Until the first enumeration shall be made, as de- 
scribed by the Constitution, the Senatorial districts shall 
be composed of the following precincts: Bexar shall be 
entitled to one Senator; San Patricio, Refugio and Goliad r 
one; Brazoria one; Mina and Gonzaies one; Nacogdoches 
one; Red river one; Shelby and Sabine one; Washington 
one; Matagorda, Jackson, and Victoria, one; Austin and 
Colorado one; San Augustine one; Milam one; Jasper and 
Jefferson one; and Liberty and Harrisburg one senator. 

Sec. 8. All judges, sheriffs, commissioners, and other 


civil officers shall remain in office, and in the discharge of 
the powers and duties of their respective offices, until 
there shall be others appointed orelected under the Con- 


Sec. 1. Laws shall be made to exclude from office, 
from the right of suffrage, and from serving on juries, 
those who shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury 
or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Sec. 2. Returns of all elections for officers who are to 
be commissioned by the President, shall be made to the 
Secretary of Stole of this Republic. 

Sec. 3. The President and heads of Departments shall 
keep their offices at the seat of government, unless re- 
moved by the permission .of Congress, or unless, in cases 
of emergency in time of war, the public interest may re- 
quire their removal. 

Sec. 4. The President shall make use of his private 
seal until a seal of the Republic shall be provided. 

Sec 5. It shall be the duty of Congress, as soon as cir- 
cumstances will permit, to provide, by law, a general sys- 
tem of education. 

Sec. 6. All free white persons who shall emigrate to 
this Republic, and who shall, after a residence of six 
months, make oath before some competent authority that 
he intends to reside permanently in the same, and shall 
swear to support this Constitution, and that he will bear 
true allegiance to the Republic of Texas, shall be enti- 
tled to all the privileges of citizenship. 

Sec 7. So soon as convenience will permit, there shall 
be a penal code formed on principles of reformation, and 
not of vindictive justice, and the civil and criminal laws 
shall be revised, digested, and arranged under different 
heads; and all laws relating to land titles shall be transla- 
ted, revised, and promulgated. 

Sec. 8. All persons who shall leave the country for the 
purpose of evading a participation in the present struggle, 
or shall refuse to participate in it, or shall give aid or as- 
sistance to the present enemy, shall forfeit all rights of 
citizenship and such lands as they may hold in the Repub- 

Sec. 9. All persons of color who were slaves for life 
previous to their emigration to Texas, and who are now 


held in bondage, shall remain in the like state of servi- 
tude, provided the said slave shall be the bona fide proper- 
ty of the person so holding said slave as aforesaid. Con- 
gress shall pass no laws to prohibit emigrants from the 
United Stales of America from bringing their slaves into 
the Republic with them, and holding them by the same 
teuure by which such slaves were held in the United 
States, nor shall Congress have power to emancipate 
slaves; nor shall any slave-holder be allowed to emanci- 
pate his or herslave orslaves, without the consent of Con- 
gress, unless he or she shall send his or her slave or slaves 
without the limits of the Republic. No free person of Afri- 
can descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted 
to reside permanently in the Republic, without the consent 
of Congress; and the importation or admission of Afri- 
cans or negroes into this Republic, excepting from the 
United Slates of America, is forever prohibited, and de- 
clared to be piracy. 

Sec. 10. All persons (Africans, the descendants of Af- 
ricans, and Indians excepted) who were residing in Tex- 
as on the day of the Declaration of Independence, shall 
be considered citizens of the Republic, and entitled to all 
the privileges of such. All citizens now living in Texas, 
who have not received their portion of land, in like man- 
ner as colonists, shall be entitled to (heir land in the fol- 
lowing proportion and manner: Every head of a family 
shall be entitled to one league and "labour" of land, and 
every single man of the age of seventeen and upwards, 
shall be entitled to the third part of one league of land. 
All citizens who may have, previously to the' adoption of 
this Constitution, received their league of land as heads 
of families, and their quarter of a league of land as single 
persons, shall receive such additional quantity as will 
make the quantity of land received by them equal to one 
league and "labour" and one-third of a league, unless by 
bargain, sale, or exchange, they have transferred, or may 
henceforth transfer their right to said land, or a portion 
thereof, to some other citizen of the Republic; and in 
such case the person to whom such right shall have been 
transferred, shall be entitled to the same, as fully and am- 
ply as the person making the transfer might or could have 
been. No alien shall hold land in Texas, except by titles 
emanating directly from the Government of this Repub- 
lic. But if any citizen of this Republic should die intes- 


tale or otherwise, his childen or heirs shall inherit his es- 
tate, and aliens shall have a reasonable litne to take pos- 
session of and dispose of the same, in a manner hereafter 
to be pointed out by law. Orphan children, whose par- 
ents were entitled to land under the colonization law of 
Mexico, and who now reside in the Republic, shall be en- 
titled to all the rights of which their parents were possess- 
ed at the time of their death. The citizens of the Repub- 
lic shall not be compelled to reside on the land, but shall 
have their lines plainly marked. 

All orders of survey legally obtained by any citizen of 
the Republic, from any legally authorized commissioner, 
prior to the act of the late consultation closing the land 
offices, shall be valid. In all cases the actual settler and 
occupant of the soil shall be entitled, in locating his land, 
to include his improvement, in preference to all other 
claims not acquired previous to his settlement, according 
to the law of the land and this Constitution: Provided, 
That nothing herein contained shall prejudice the rights 
of any citizen from whom a settler may hold land by rem 
or lease. 

And whereas the protection of the public domain from 
unjust and fraudulent claims, and quieting the People in 
the enjoyment of their lands, is one of the great duties of 
this Convention: and whereas the Legislature of the State 
of Coahuila and Texas having passed an act in the year 
eighteen hundred and thirty-four, in behalf of General 
John T. Mason, of New York, and another on the four- 
teenth day of March, eighteen hundred and thirty-five, 
under which the enormous amount of eleven hundred 
leagues of land has been claimed by sundry individuals, 
some of whom reside in foreign countries, and are not cit- 
izens of the Republic, which said acts are contrary to ar- 
ticles fourth, twelfth, and fifteenth, of the laws of eighteen 
hundred and twenty-four, of the General Congress of 
Mexico, and one of said acts for that cause has, by the said 
General Congress of Mexico, been declared null and 
void: it is hereby declared that the said act of eighteen 
hundred and thirty-four, in favor of John T. Mason, and 
of the fourteenth of March, eighteen hundred and thirty- 
five, to the said Legislature of Coahuila and Texas, and 
each and every grant founded thereon, is, and was from 
the beginning, null and void; and all surveys made under 
pretence of authority derived from said acts are hereby 


declared to be null and void; and all eleven-league claims, 
located within twenty leagues of the boundary line be- 
tween Texas and the United States of America, which 
have been located contrary to the laws of Mexico, are 
hereby declared to be null and void: and whereas many 
surveys and titles to land have been made whilst most of 
the People of Texas were absent from home, serving; in 
the campaign against Hejar, it is hereby declared that 
all the surveys and locations of land made since the act of 
the late consultation closing the land offices, and all title? 
to land made since that time, are and shall be null and 

And whereas the present unsettled state of the country 
and the general welfare of the People demand that the 
operations of the land offices and the whole land system 
shall be suspended until persons serving in'the army can 
have a fair and equal chance with those remaining at home 
to select and locate their lands, it is hereby declared that 
no survey or title which may hereafter be made shall be 
valid, unless such survey or title shall be authorized by 
this Convention or some future Congress of the Republic. 
\nd with a view to the simplification of the land system, 
and protection of the People and the Government from 
litigation and fraud, a general land office shall be estab- 
lished, where all the land titles of the Republic shall be 
registered, and the whole territory of the Republic shall 
be sectionized, in a manner hereafter to be prescribed by 
law, which shall enable the officers of the Government 
or any citizen to ascertain with certainty the lands that 
are vacant, and those lands which may be covered by valid 

Sec. 11. Any amendment or amendments to this Con- 
stitution may be proposed in the House of Representa- 
tives or Senate, and if the same shall be agreed to by a 
majority of the members elected to each of the two 
Houses, siidi proposed amendment or amendments shall 
be entered on the journals, with the yeas and nays there- 
on, and referred to the Congress then next to be chosen, 
and shall be published for three months previous to the 
election; and if the Congress next chosen as aforesaid, 
shall pass said amendment or amendments by a vote of 
two-thirds of all the members elected to each House, 
then it shall be the duty of said Congress to submit such 
proposed amendment or amendments to the People, in 


such manner and at such times as the Congress shall pre- 
scribe; and if the People shall approve and ratify such 
amendment or amendments by a majority of the electors 
qualified to vote for members of Congress voting thereon, 
such amendment or amendments shall become a part of 
this Constitution: Provided, however, that no amendment 
or amendments be referred to the People oftener than once 
in three years. 


This Declaration of Rights is declared to be a part of 
this Constitution, and shall never be violated on any pre- 
tence whatever. And in order to guard against the trans- 
gression of the high powers which we have delegated, 
we declare that every thing in this bill of rights contain- 
ed, and every other right not hereby delegated, is reserv- 
ed to the People. 

First. All men, when they form a social compact, have 
equal rights, and no man or set of men are entitled to ex- 
clusive public privileges or emoluments from the commu- 

Second. All political power is inherent in the People, 
and all free governments are founded on their authority, 
and instituted for their benefit; and they have at all times 
an inalienable right to alter their government insuch man- 
ner as they may think proper. 

Third. No preference shall be given by law to any re- 
ligious denomination or mode of worship over another, 
but every person shall be permitted to worship God ac- 
cording to the dictates of his own conscience. 

Fourth. Every citizen shall be at liberty to speak, 
write, or publish his opinions on any subject, being res- 
ponsible for the abuse of that privilege. No law shall ev- 
er be passed to curtail the liberty of speech or of the 
press; and in all prosecutions for libels, the truth may be 
given in evidence, and the jury shall have the right to de- 
termine the law and fact, under the direction of the court. 

Fifth. The People shall be secure in their persons, 
houses, papers, and possessions, from all unreasonable 
searches or seizures, and no warrant shall issue to search 
any place or seize any person or thing; without describing 
the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seiz- 
ed, without probable cause, supported by oath or affirma- 


Sixth. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall 
have the right of being heard, by himself, or council, or 
both, he shall have the right to demand the nature and 
cause of the accusation, shall be confronted with the wit- 
nesses against him, and have compulsory process for ob- 
taining witnesses in his favor. And in all prosecutions by 
presentment or indictment, he shall have the right to a 
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury; he shall not 
be compelled to give evidence against himself, or be de- 
prived of life, liberty, or property, but by due course of 
law. And no freeman shall be holden to answer for any 
criminal charge, but on presentment or indictment by a 
grand jury, except in the land and naval foices, or in lhe 
militia when in actual service in time of war or public 
danger, or in cases of impeachment. 

Seventh. No citizen shall be deprived of privileges, 
outlawed, exiled, or in any manner disfranchised, except 
by due course of the law of the land. 

Eighth. No title of nobility, hereditary privileges or 
honors, shall ever be granted or conferred in this Repub- 
lic. No person holding any office of profit or trust shall, 
without the consent of Congress, receive from any foreign 
state any present, office, or emolument, of any Uind. 

Ninth. No person, for the same offence, shall be twice 
put in jeopardy of life or limbs. And the right of trial 
by jury shall remain inviolate. 

Tenth. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient secu- 
rity, unless for capital crimes, when the proof is evident 
or presumption strong; and the privilege of the writ 
of "habeas corpus 1 ' shall not be suspended, except in case 
of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it. 
Eleventh. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor ex- 
cessive fines imposed, or cruel or unusual punishments 
inflicted. All courts shall be open, and every man for 
any injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputa- 
tion, shall have remedy by due course of law. 

Twelfth. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in 
consequence of inability to pay. 

Thirteenth. No person's particular services shall be de- 
manded, nor property taken or applied to public use, un- 
less by the consent of himself or his representative, with- 
out just compensation being made therefor according to 
Fourteenth. Every citizen shall have the right to bear 


arms in defence of himself and the Republic. The milita- 
ry shall at all times and in all cases be subordinate to the 
civil power. 

Fifteenth. The sure and certain defence of a free peo- 
ple is a well-regulated militia; and it shall be the duty of 
the Legislature to enact such laws as may be necessary to 
the organizing of the militia of this Republic. 

Sixteenth. Treason against this Republic shall consist only 
in levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, giv- 
ing them aid and support. No retrospective or ex post 
facto law, or laws impairing the obligations of contracts, 
shall be made. 

Seventeenth. Perpetuities or monopolies are contrary 
to the genius of a free government, and shall not be al- 
lowed; nor shall the law of primogeniture or entailments 
ever be in force in this Republic. 

The foregoing Constitution was unanimously adopted 
by the Delegates of Texas, in Convention assembled, at 
the town of Washington, on the seventeenth day of 
March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun- 
dred and thirty-six, and of the Independence of the Re- 
public the first year. 

In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our 

President and Delegate from Red river. 

Albert H. S. Kimble, Secretary. 

C. B. Stewart, John S. Roberts, 

James Collinsworth, Robert Hamilton, 

Edwin Waller, Collin MeKinny, 

A. Brigham, A. H. Latimore, 

John S. D. Byrom, James Powers, 

Francis Ruis, Samuel Houston, 

J. Antonio Navaro, Edward Conrad, 

William D. Lacy, Martin Palmer, 

William Menifee, James Gaines, 

John Fisher, William Clark, jun., 

Matthew Calwell, Sydny C. Pennington, 

William Motley, Samuel P. Carson, 

Lorenzo de Zavalla, Thomas I. Rusk, 

George W. Smyth, William C. Crawford, 

Stephen H. Everett, John Turner, 

Elijah Stepp, Benjamin Briggs Goodrich 




Claiborne West, 
William B. Leates, 
M. B. Menard, 
A. B. Hardin, 
John W. Bunton, 
Thomas J. Gazley, 
R. M. Coleman, 
Sterling C. Robertson, 
George C. Childress. 
Baily Hardiman, 
Robert Potter, 
Charles Taylor, 

James G. Swisher, 
George W. Barnett, 
Jesse Grimes, 
E. O. Legrand, 
David Thomas, 
S. Rhodes Fisher, 
John W. Bower, 
J. B. Woods, 
J. W. Briscoe, 
Thomas Barnett, 
Jesse B. Badgett, 
Stephen W. Blount. 

I dohereby certify that I have carefully compared the 
foregoing Constitution, and find it to be a true copy from 
the original filed in the archives of the Convention. 
Given under my hand, this 17th day of March, 1836. 
Attest: H. S. KIMBLE, 

Secretary of the Convention,